BEIJING, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's media and netizens applauded the country's space exploration program after the Chang'e-4 probe successfully landed on the far side of the moon Thursday.
On the social network Weibo, hashtags like "Chang'e-4" and "far side of the moon" have been trending since Thursday. Netizens left comments and posted messages like "amazing" and "Proud of you, Chang'e-4."
On popular short video sharing app Douyin, the video about Chang'e-4 got more than half a million views, making it to the list of hot topics.
"Congratulations," Elon Musk, CEO and founder of U.S. private space company SpaceX, commented on Xinhua News Agency's tweet on the Chang'e-4 landing. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted, "This is a first for humanity and an impressive accomplishment. Comments like "Space has no borders" and "Our journey is the sea of stars" became hot topics on social networks.
Xie Tao, CEO of Chinese private space company Commsat, told Xinhua that he believed China's commercial launch will also mark a "first for mankind" breakthrough someday.
Baidu, China's largest search engine, created an animated logo doodle for the lunar mission: Chang'e-4 makes a soft landing on the far side of the moon, moon rover Yutu-2 leaves the first "footprint" on the lunar surface and images are sent back to the earth by relay satellite Queqiao.
People's Daily published an extra of newsreel on its mobile app with a headline "First for Mankind" and a close-up photo of the landing site taken by Chang'e-4 probe.
The picture quickly went viral on China's social network and was dubbed "Best picture of 2019" by thousands of netizens.
The far side of the moon has been depicted as a place of dark mystery in pop culture. One Weibo message "Cleared! No aliens! No Decepticons! Only craters!" received almost 3,000 likes within minutes. Meme images based on the photo popped up on social networks, such as a panda or a husky on the moon crater.
Zhang Meng, the mother of a 4-year-old boy, told Xinhua in Beijing that she was surprised to find that even her son knew about Chang'e-4's landing. "It is the most important news of the day and is even a topic even in kindergarten classrooms, she said.
Late Thursday, China announced the chosen name Yutu-2 for the new moon rover. Yutu-2 touched the lunar surface at 10:22 p.m. on Thursday, leaving a trace on the loose lunar soil.
Along with saying "hi" to Yutu-2, many netizens wish the rover a more stable and safe journey on the moon. "Little bunny, take it slow. Don't fall in that crater," said Weibo user "Small island Ye"
Messages were also posted in memory of Yutu, China's first moon rover which ceased operation in 2016 after 972 days of service.
"Rabbit, you have a house guest," writes "CoderLiu666" on Weibo. "Your brother is here. Although he is on the far side, you are not lonely anymore."