China Makes Historic Touchdown on Moon's Far Side

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After the successful landing, experts verified the conditions of "Queqiao", meaning Magpie Bridge, which was launched in May of 2018 to set up the communication link between the Earth and the moon's far side. There was very little news of the Chang'e 4 landing attempt before the official announcement it had been a success.

The Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2) rover drove onto the moon's surface from the lander at 10.22pm on Thursday (1422 GMT), about 12 hours after the ground-breaking touchdown of the Chang'e-4 probe, the agency said. Chang'e-4 communicates with Earth via a relay satellite in orbit around the moon, something that adds another level of complexity and risk, according to Jim Head, a researcher at Brown University who worked with Chinese colleagues to analyze Chang'e-4's landing site.

Chang'e-4 lunar probe mission - named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology - was the second Chinese probe to land on the moon following the Yutu rover mission in 2013.

And the China National Space Administration won't be resting on its laurels following this history-making rendezvous.

The probe also took six live species - cotton, rapeseed, potato, arabidopsis, fruit fly and yeast - to the lifeless environment to form a mini biosphere, Xinhua said.

The mission highlights China's growing ambitions to rival the U.S., Russian Federation and Europe in space, and more broadly, to cement its position as a global power.

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While China has insisted its ambitions are purely peaceful, the U.S. Defense Department has accused it of pursuing activities aiming to prevent other nations from using space-based assets during a crisis. Chinese media on Thursday released the first ever close-up photos of the moon's far side, which were taken by the probe and sent to the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center.

And the new exploratory probe could return a whole host of valuable data: examining the geological make-up of the surface around the South Pole-Aitken basin, a part of the Moon we now know very little about.

WATCH: How healthy do you have to be to travel into space? It was then directed to lower itself toward the Moon, being careful to identify and avoid obstacles, Chinese state media say.

As soon as 2022, NASA expects to begin building a new space station laboratory to orbit the moon, as a pit stop for missions to distant parts of the solar system.

China wants to become a leading power in space exploration, alongside the United States and Russian Federation. As the milestone landing is just hours away, conspiracy theorists and some internet cracks have put forward a freakish theory which may seem too hard for a common man's conscience to digest.

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