NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine acknowledged the accomplishment on social media.
“Congratulations to China’s Chang’e-4 team for what appears to be a successful landing on the far side of the Moon. This is a first for humanity and an impressive accomplishment!” Bridenstine said on social media.
The mission launched in early December and is tasked with measuring the far side of the moon’s geology, including the terrain and mineral deposits. The mission could also offer insight into the formation of Earth’s nearest neighbor.
While astronauts with NASA’s Apollo missions saw and mapped parts of the far side of the moon, Chang’e 4’s successful landing marks the first time a probe has touched down there.