China announced that it successfully landed a probe on the far side of the moon Thursday.
“This space mission shows that China has reached the advanced world-class level in deep space exploration,” said Zhu Menghua, a professor at the Macau University of Science and Technology, the New York Times quoted. “We Chinese people have done something that the Americans have not dared try.”
Menghua also claimed it was something “that the Americans have not dared try.”
China landed a rover on the moon in 2013 but this is the first for a probe to land on the side of the moon that faces away from the Earth.
The country said that it plans to fully operate a third space station by 2022 and to put their astronauts in a lunar base no later than 2032. They also intend to begin sending probes to Mars.
“This is a major achievement technically and symbolically,” the Times quoted Namrata Goswami, an independent analyst who wrote about space for the Defense Department’s Minerva Research Institute. “China views this landing as just a steppingstone, as it also views its future manned lunar landing, since its long-term goal is to colonize the moon and use it as a vast supply of energy.”