This portrait of the Earth and Moon system was taken by the Chinese Chang’e 5-T1 mission. It offers a rare view of the far side of the Moon – which is always hidden as seen from the Earth – with the Earth appearing as a distant blue marble. The Chinese spacecraft was launched on 23 October for a round-trip flight around the Moon before a successful return to Earth on 31 October. Although this was mainly an unmanned engineering test mission, it bears witness to the rapid development of the Chinese space programme. A year ago, China attracted worldwide attention with mutual portraits of a lunar lander and its little rover Yutu ("Jade Rabbit"). India is also making a notable entry into deep-space exploration with its Mars Orbiter Mission, which has been sending back beautiful images of the red planet since its orbital insertion manoeuvre on 23–24 September, following a 10-month journey.