A Chinese space probe has become the first to successfully touch down on the far side of the moon today.
Chinese state television said the Chang'e-4 lunar probe - launched in December - made the "soft landing" at 3.26pm NZ Time and transmitted the first-ever "close range" image of the dark side of the moon.
It is carrying instruments to characterise the region's geology, as well as a biological experiment.
State media called the landing "a major milestone in space exploration".
While past missions have been to the Earth-facing side, this is the first time a craft has landed on the unexplored far side.
The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side is never visible from Earth.
Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon but none has landed on it.
The landing "lifted the mysterious veil" from the far side of the moon, and "opened a new chapter in human lunar exploration", the state broadcaster said
In recent days, the Chang'e-4 spacecraft had lowered its orbit in preparation for landing.
At the weekend, Chinese state media said the probe had entered an elliptical path around the Moon, bringing the vehicles to within 15km of the lunar surface at its closest point.
Targeting the far side has turned this mission into a riskier and more complex venture than its predecessor, Chang'e-3 - which in 2013 touched down on the near side of the Moon, in the Mare Imbrium region.
China's latest moon shot will pave the way for the country to deliver samples of lunar rock and dust to Earth.
- Reuters / BBC