China is the first nation to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. A Chinese television station announced that the lunar spaceship, Chang'e 4, touched down on the moon on Thursday. Professor Zhu Menghua said the success of the mission was a major milestone for China. He said it means China is a pioneer in space exploration. He told reporters: "We Chinese people have done something that the Americans have not dared try." Sun Zezhou, chief designer of Chang'e-4, said: "Landing on the far side of the moon is more risky than landing on the near side."
The Chang'e-4 probe sent photographs back to Earth soon after it landed on the moon. China's space administration said the mission had, "lifted the mysterious veil" from the far side of the moon and "opened a new chapter in human lunar exploration". Mr Zezhou spoke about the significance of the program. He said it would, "help lay the foundation for future space exploration." He added that China would explore the moon, asteroids, "and even the whole solar system". China also has plans to launch a returnable spacecraft (Chang'e 5) by 2020.