Fifteen years after sending an astronaut into space, China became the first country to land on the far side of the moon.
The moon rotates at the same speed as the Earth orbits, so that most of the side – sometimes called the "dark side" – is never visible on Earth.
While the previous space ships have seen the far side, no one ever made a landing.
Dr. Brad Tucker, an Australian National University astrophysicist, said it was a significant development.
"We have never explored the front of the moon," he said.
"There are plenty of scientific reasons to explore them because of the way we believe that the moon has been formed and what has the farthest part and, ultimately, the spatial and astronomical exploration.
"So from a technological and scientific point of view, it was a great achievement," he said.
Landing is the last step for China in its race to end up with Russia and the United States and become a major space power by 2030.
Until now, the United States has been the only country that landed people on the Moon, but both China and the former Soviet Union have managed to put people in space.
Countries look to the Moon as a potential stop to the solar system, with NASA's US space agency, who plans to have people on Mars by the middle of 2030.
Dr Tucker said the moon is full of resources like ice and Helium-3, which could help Mars – and even the moon – be more habitable for humans.
He said that China will try to take advantage of their winning.
"They both looked scientifically and technologically to be here as a power and looking for fuel – which would probably turn into an interesting legal space battle, and that it is the resources in space," he said.
Dr Tucker said the race has already begun and will continue to warm up.
"So now there is a treaty, the 1967 Lunar Treaty that governs the use of resources and says that everything in the month should be for all mankind," he said.
"Well, obviously it will not happen."
"When what we call space mining, using resources in space – either through the Moon, Mars or asteroids – is becoming more and more a reality, what we will see is a bigger and bigger problem."
He said Australia could play a role.
"We have to move away from a system of treaties and more into a system of self-regulation that is not just countries, but also private companies.
"And we hope that Australia, through past expertise in research and rescue, and air traffic control, will play a part in this."
– With AP and Reuters