China has finally joined the ranks of the US and Russia after landing its first spacecraft on the moon. The unmanned Chang'e-3 spacecraft launched two weeks ago and arrived on lunar soil today. The Chang’e-3 marks the first “soft-landing,” in which a spacecraft lands without damaging its equipment, on the moon in over 30 years.

The spacecraft is carrying the Yutu, a lunar rover equipped with six wheels, four cameras, and two mechanical arms. According to Chinese state media, it is currently exploring the moon’s Bay of Rainbows region.

"Compared to the last century's space race between the United States and the former Soviet Union, mankind's current return to the moon is more based on curiosity and exploration of the unknown universe," said Sun Huixian, deputy engineer of China’s lunar program,.

"China's lunar program is an important component of mankind's activities to explore peaceful use of space," he added, not-so-subtly dissing the former Cold War rivals.

[via The Verge]