Ambitious China steps up space exploration with a lander and a rover on the Earth’s natural satellite.

Updated: 11th January 2019, .

CHINESE spacecraft on the dark side of the moon has taken snaps of each other.

Pics beamed back include one of the Chang’e 4 lander and another of the Jade Rabbit 2 rover.

China’s Chang’e 4 probe landed on the moon

The mission faces a challenge in navigating craters on the far side, which always faces away from Earth.

The pictures were transmitted by a relay satellite to a control centre in Beijing.

The far side has been observed many times from lunar orbits, but never explored on the surface.

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It is popularly called the “dark side” because it can’t be seen from Earth and is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.

The pioneering landing highlights China’s ambitions to rival the U.S., Russia and Europe in space through manned flights and the planned construction of a permanent space station.

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