China's space agency has posted a photo of a lunar rover making tracks on the surface shortly after leaving a spacecraft that had made the first-ever landing on the moon's far side.

The Jade Rabbit 2 rover drove off a ramp and onto the moon at 10:22 p.m. Thursday, about 12 hours after the Chang'e 4 spacecraft touched down.

Lunar project chief designer Wu Weiren called the separation of the rover "a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation."

Other countries have sent spacecraft to the side of the moon that faces Earth. The Chinese mission is the first to the far side, sometimes called the dark side because it is relatively unknown.