The country last night was able to successfully land its Chang'e-4 spacecraft on the part of the moon that Earth can not see and no other spacecraft has reached before. Its Chang'e-3 craft, which landed on the moon's Earth-facing side in 2013, was the first moon landing since the former Soviet Union touched down with its Luna 24 in 1976.
China's space agency has posted a photo of a lunar rover making tracks on the surface shortly after leaving a spacecraft that had made the first-ever landing on the moon's far side.
China's Chang'e-4 probe made a "smooth and precise" landing on the far side of the Moon at 10:26 a.m. BJT Thursday.
The Chang'e 4 lander is the fourth of six planned lunar missions.
Because the far side faces away from Earth, it is also shielded from radio transmissions - making it the flawless place from which to study the universe. The pioneering landing (pictured in process, inset) demonstrates China's growing ambitions to rival the U.S. as a space power.
TRT World spoke to Associate Professor of Astrophysics at Keele University Jacco van Loon.
The unmanned lunar missions are part of China's ambitions to join the United States and Russian Federation as a major space power.
The Chang'e-4 probe which has already sent back its first close-up pictures from the surface is carrying instruments to analyse the unexplored region's geology and will conduct biological experiments.
Chang'e-4 was launched on December 8, 2018.
Chang'e-4 is carrying six experiments from China and four from overseas, including low-frequency radio astronomical studies - aiming to take advantage of the lack of interference on the moons' far side. China launched a radio-relay satellite to orbit the moon prior to Chang'e 4's mission to enable the spacecraft to communicate with the earth. But because the moon spins on its axis at exactly the same rate as it orbits Earth, one side remains permanently out of view.
Infographic of the Chang'e-4 lunar landing mission. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side, but none has landed on it. It is planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.
The separation of the rover - which is named after the moon goddess' pet white rabbit - went smoothly, said Wu Weiren, chief designer of the lunar project.
Exploring the cosmos from the far side of the moon could eventually help scientists learn more about the early days of the solar system and even the birth of the universe's first stars. "And we're gradually realizing it".