China’s Chang’e 4 Moon probe successfully touched down on Thursday on the far side of the Moon, popularly but inaccurately called the “dark side of the Moon.”
The mission is named after the goddess Cháng’é 嫦娥, who, according to legend, lives on the Moon with her pet bunny, Yùtù 玉兔, or “Jade Rabbit.” The probe carried a lunar rover named Jade Rabbit, which began operating today.
Naturally, some observers’ first thoughts turn to rivalry with the U.S.: “Today the fight [between China and the U.S.] is on trade. Tomorrow it can be on the Moon,” said one Chinese analyst to the South China Morning Post.
- China is first to reach the far side of the Moon, Chinese lunar rover begins its exploration of the Moon / NYT (porous paywall)
- What you need to know about Chang’e 4, China’s mission to the far side of the Moon / SCMP
- ‘Dark side’ of the Moon: China’s Chang’e 4 probe makes historic landing – video explainer / Guardian
- China’s Chang’e-4 probe makes historic landing on Moon’s far side / Xinhua