China has officially landed the first space probe, Chang’e-4, on the dark side of the Moon. The mission “has opened a new chapter in humanity’s exploration of the moon,” stated the China National Space Administration.
The probe has sent the first close-up images of the moon’s far side using a relay satellite called the “Queqiao,” or “Magpie Bridge”.
“This mission shows that China has reached the world-class level in space exploration,” said Zhu Menghua, professor at Macau University.
China plans to use this trip as research to begin fully operating its third space station by 2022 and to put astronauts in a lunar base. Later in the decade, China plans to send probes to Mars; including ones that could return with samples of the Martian surface.
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