A simulated landing process of Chang'e-4 lunar probe. Photo: Xinhua/Jin Liwang via Getty Images

China's space agency said on Thursday that it landed a probe, Chang'e-4, on the far side of the moon for the first time in history, reports the New York Times.

Why it matters: China's space program is a late bloomer, but its recent achievements indicate that it's quickly catching up to the U.S., marking a potential "challenge ... for supremacy in artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other fields," per the Times.

Details: China's probe landed in one of the moon's oldest and deepest craters, a prime location for more learning more about the moon's history and resources.

  • China’s first lunar lander and rover, Chang'e-3, landed on the near side of the moon five years ago, but faced numerous mechanical issues.

See the view:

The first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe. Photo: Xinhua/Xinhua via Getty Images

Go deeper: How China plans to pull ahead in the space race

Go deeper

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