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China Reacts as Lunar Probe Chang’e 4 Lands on Far Side of the Moon

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China’s Chang’e 4 lunar probe has landed on the side of the moon that never faces the earth, marking a significant space exploration first. The probe touched down seemingly exactly where planned for a “soft landing” this morning Beijing time and is due to roll out a sample-collecting photo-snapping rover (Yutu “Jade Rabbit” 2) later today.

Update: Here’s some video…

Here’s Party agency Xinhua on the landing:

space lunar probe china

Unsurprisingly, there was some tub-thumpingly nationalistic coverage across the Chinese internet. News outlet The Paper, clearly not wanting to overstate things, went with the headline “Today, China is the pride of all humanity”:space probe china moonThe pride was certainly strong on Weibo, where Elon Musk replying to Xinhua’s Tweet with some simple congratulations got a fair bit of attention.

Also on Twitter, one of a number of social media platforms to be banned in China but nonetheless quoted when it suits the authorities, NASA’s Jim Bridenstine sent a congratulatory message:

Bytedance-owned news aggregator Jinri Toutiao meanwhile, put out a “rap explainer” of the mission via their Weibo account:

jinri toutiao rap space probe

If that leaves you a little bamboozled, there’s some skr-less background on the mission here instead:

China Shoots for the Far Side of the Moon this Week

Here’s a piece explaining China’s penchant for naming its space missions (and other cutting-edge tech projects) after ancient deities:

Digital Deities and Galactic Guardians – How China is Invoking Ancient Gods in Cutting Edge Tech

And here’s an article about China’s private space exploration ambitions:

China Dreams of Extraterrestrial Tourism as the Country’s Private Space Race Takes Off

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