Chang'e-4: A milestone in China's space dreams
Updated 21:44, 06-Jan-2019
By Ning Hong
China's lunar probe the Chang'e-4 has made a historic touch down on the far side of the Moon. 
It is the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon, which always faces away from the Earth and remains comparatively unknown, marking a breakthrough in China's ability to explore the outer space. 
According to Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar exploration project, "Going to the Moon is a realization of a thousand-year-cherished dream for the Chinese people."
China's Moon exploration can be dated back to 2004. The project got its name from a widely known Chinese folktale: the story of Chang'e, the Chinese goddess of the Moon. 
The exploration was divided into three phases: circle, land, and return. 
In 2013, the Chang'e-3 landed on the Moon. But the Chang'e-4 probe was given an even more challenging mission: reaching the mysterious dark side.
"It is of human nature to explore unknown places in the world. It is also the underlying impetus for the development of science and technology," said Wu.
"That's why we chose to go to the far side of the Moon among all the options that we had, even if it means more challenges."
Although, earlier there have been images of the far side of the Moon but no landing has taken place there.
Sun Zezhou, chief designer of Chang'e-4 probe, pointed out two major difficulties that the mission faces while speaking with CGTN.
"First, the landing will be relatively more difficult on the far side of the Moon, and second, there must be a relay of communication. These are the two main reasons why there hasn't been such an attempt before."
It has only been a decade since the Moon exploration project began in China. The achievements that have been made so far have also carried the dreams of a generation of young space scientists and engineers. And for them, the path ahead for China's space exploration is, at last, becoming wider and clearer.
"If our Moon exploration efforts are successful, and if we are accomplishing more, then our efforts will also be a contribution to the humanity. It is also a great lift to our capabilities in space exploration. So I think our Moon exploration endeavors will not stop, instead, they will continue with greater devotion and long-term plans," said Wu.