Relay station will eventually let teams on the ground talk to a lunar probe that China plans to launch this year in world-first mission

China is one step closer to being the first country to land on the dark side of the moon.

At 5.28am on Monday, the Queqiao relay satellite was launched from Sichuan province, according to Chinese state media. With Queqiao in place, China will be able to send a lunar probe to the side of the moon that never faces the Earth. No space program has ever reached that part of the lunar surface because of communications difficulties.

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