BEIJING — China reached a milestone in space exploration on Thursday, landing a vehicle on the far side of the moon for the first time in history, state media announced.
The landing of the probe, called Chang’e-4 after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology, is one in a coming series of missions that underscore the country’s ambitions to join — and even lead — the space race.
China landed another rover on the moon in 2013, joining the United States and the Soviet Union as the only nations to have carried out a “soft landing” there, but the Chang’e-4 is the first to touch down on the side of the moon that perpetually faces away from the Earth.
“This space mission shows that China has reached the advanced world-class level in deep space exploration,” said Zhu Menghua, a professor at the Macau University of Science and Technology who has worked closely with China’s space administration. “We Chinese people have done something that the Americans have not dared try.”
Although a latecomer by decades to space exploration, China is quickly catching up, experts say, and could challenge the United States for supremacy in artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other fields…
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/world/asia/china-change-4-moon.html