fifty years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon, Chinese spacecraft Chang’e 4 has made history by touching down on the far side of its surface, in the South Pole-Aitken Basin.
It may have taken five decades for space exploration to lead to a landing on what is sometimes referred to as the “dark side” – it is not visible from Earth – but the remarkable move is a giant leap in opening up a new chapter of lunar discovery.
Already, the probe has sent back pictures from the surface – and the mission will give scientists the opportunity to examine a landscape that is currently shrouded in mystery. In turn, it will contribute to a greater understanding of our fascinating solar system and the universe in which it sits.
With a Nasa spacecraft completing a flyby of the most distant object ever, one billion miles past Pluto, on New Year’s Day, 2019 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for space exploration.