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Chinese spacecraft seen landing on far side of moon in new footage

Footage has been released showing the view from China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft as it landed on the far side of the Moon, after completing the first ever mission to successfully land there.

A camera attached to the probe shows a black and white recording of it slowly touching down on the planet’s surface.

Launched in December, Chang’e 4 eventually landed on 3 January, first sending back still images that were broadcast on state TV station CCTV.

The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate as it orbits our planet, so its far side – or “dark side” – is never visible to us. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side, but none have landed on it.

This landing “lifted the mysterious veil” of the far side of the moon and “opened a new chapter in human lunar exploration”, the agency said in a statement on its website, which included a wide-angle colour picture of a crater from the moon’s surface.