China Lands on the Dark Side of the Moon
Next year China will lead the world’s first mission to land on the dark side of the moon. The country’s Chang’e-4 probe, named after the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology, will make a soft landing on the back side of the moon and carry out “in-place and patrolling surveys” according to China’s lunar exploration chief, Liu Jizhong.
The far hemisphere that is never directly visible from Earth has been photographed—the first images appeared in 1959—but it has never been explored. Beijing has plans for a permanent orbiting station by 2020, and aims to send a human to the moon by 2036.