A Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, China’s space agency said, hailing the event as a historic first and a major achievement for the country’s space program. The Chang’e-4 lunar probe, launched in December,
made the “soft landing” at 0226 GMT and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the far side of the moon, the China National Space Administration said. The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate as it orbits our planet, so most of the far side – or “dark side” – is never visible to us. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side, but none has landed on it.