Pink Floyd isn’t the only one singing about the dark side of the moon now–China is too. The country last night was able to successfully land its Chang’e-4 spacecraft on the part of the moon that Earth cannot see and no other spacecraft has reached before.
The ship was launched in early December and has been orbiting around the space mass for weeks in preparation for the “dark side” landing. According to the state news source Xinhua, the Chang’e-4 successfully landed on the Von Karman crater.
Already, Xinhua has released a picture showing the world what this section of the moon looks like. The image shows a barren, golden surface with a large recess in view.
Chang’e-4 lunar probe lands on largest crater in solar system. The precise landing will help prepare China for its following lunar exploration and future expeditions to other planets https://t.co/dI5KCdE1Ks pic.twitter.com/1f9JbnmhdE
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 3, 2019
The landing has captivated the world, even catching the eye of Elon Musk who tweeted a congratulatory note to China.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 3, 2019
This mission is just one part of China’s growing space exploration ambitions. A few years ago, the country sent a craft to explore other parts of the moon. This latest Chang’e-4 mission, writes Xinhua, intends to “provide firsthand data and clues for the evolution of the moon, earth and solar system.” China also says that it intends to launch missions to explore other planets as well.