The Christian Science Monitor

To the moon and beyond: Why China is aiming for the stars

It’s never been done before, even by space-faring nations with decades of experience. But on Thursday, China became the first to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon.

The Chang’e 4 spacecraft trip is just the latest of China’s space missions. The nation’s burgeoning space program has already sent astronauts into space atop their own rockets, sent several probes to the moon, and has outlined plans for much more.

“China is now a major player in the first rank of space powers, and that’s going to be the reality for decades to come,” says Michael Neufeld, senior curator in the Space History Department at

A tricky featBold visions

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