China Lands Chang’e 4 on the Far Side of the Moon

A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon.

The lunar explorer Chang’e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m. China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast.

The far side of the moon faces away from Earth and is relatively unexplored. It is also known as the dark side of the moon.

The pioneering landing demonstrates China’s growing ambitions as a space power. In 2013, Chang’e 3 was the first spacecraft to land on the moon since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976.

The mission of Chang’e 4, which is carrying a rover, includes carrying out low-frequency radio astronomical observations and probing the structure and mineral composition of the terrain.

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