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Chinese spacecraft Chang’e 4 lands on far side of the moon

A Chinese spacecraft has become the first to land on the far side of the moon in a historic moment for human space exploration. The successful touch down was hailed as a major technical feat and is seen as an important step towards China’s wider ambitions in space.

The robotic probe Chang’e 4 landed in the unexplored South Pole-Aitken basin, the biggest known impact structure in the solar system, at about 2.30am GMT on Thursday.

Prior to confirmation of the landing and the release of the first close-up shots of the far lunar surface by the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, many details of the mission, including the planned timing of the landing, had been kept secret.

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