China plans to soft land probe on far side of the moon by 2018

China has announced its space ambitions for the coming years and it has some big plans. The first thing that China plans to do is place a probe on the far side of the moon. China wants to soft land a probe on the far side of the moon by 2018 and accomplishing this feat would make it the first country to do so.

"To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is a dream we pursue unremittingly," read the whitepaper China released. That white paper also states that China wants to use space to guarantee national security and for peaceful research purposes. The part about guaranteeing national security isn't clarified.

The white paper was released by the information office of the Chinese Cabinet. China eventually wants to place an astronaut on the moon. The space program is seen as a source of national prestige and the country places great emphasis on the development of its space industry. The Chinese space program is military-backed and has made significant process in a short period of time despite the US and Russia having mode space experience than China.

China has already placed a rover on the surface of the moon, something it accomplished in 2013 becoming the first country to do so since the '70s. China also put a pair of astronauts into orbit for a month stay on the country's Tiangong 2 space station. That mission was China's sixth and longest mission to date. A permanently crewed space station is expected to begin operations in six years and last for a decade.