CHINA MAKES SOFT LANDING ON MOON

By  //  December 14, 2013

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rover to carry out exploration of surface

ABOVE VIDEO: China’s Moon Rover ‘Jade Rabbit’ lands safely on the Moon as China’s becomes only the third country to complete a rover landing – the first for 37 years.

An unmanned spacecraft carrying China’s first lunar rover called “Jade Rabbit” has safely landed on the surface of the Moon, according to Chinese state television.

An unmanned spacecraft carrying China's first lunar rover called "Jade Rabbit" has safely landed on the surface of the Moon, according to Chinese state television.

An unmanned spacecraft carrying China’s first lunar rover called “Jade Rabbit” has safely landed on the surface of the Moon, according to Chinese state television. (Chinese state television image)

It is the first “soft landing” of a probe there for 37 years and China is only the third country to complete such a feat after the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Beijing has now taken a big step towards becoming a global player in space. Scientists burst into applause as a computer-generated image representing the Chang’e 3 spacecraft carrying the solar-powered buggy was seen touching down on the Moon’s surface via screens in Beijing.

The craft’s camera broadcast images of the surface before it reportedly came down in the Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows.

It had hovered for several minutes seeking an appropriate place to land. A soft landing does not damage the craft and the equipment it takes. In 2007, China put another lunar probe in orbit around the Moon, which then carried out a controlled crash on to its surface.

ROVER WILL CARRY OUT THREE-MONTH EXPLORATION OF SURFACE

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The rover is expected to separate from the lander and then carry out a three-month scientific exploration of the surface, in which it will look for natural resources.

The rover is expected to separate from the lander and then carry out a three-month scientific exploration of the surface, in which it will look for natural resources.

The vehicle will be remotely controlled by Chinese control centres with support from tracking and transmission stations operated by the European Space Agency.


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