China Has Landed On The Moon
DEC. 14, 2013
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China landed an unmanned spacecraft on the moon on Saturday, state media reported, in the first such “soft-landing” since 1976, joining the United States and the former Soviet Union in managing to accomplish such a feat.
The Chang’e 3, a probe named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, is carrying the solar-powered Yutu, or Jade Rabbit buggy, which will dig and conduct geological surveys.
China has been increasingly ambitious in developing its space programs, for military, commercial and scientific purposes.
In its most recent manned space mission in June, three astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with an experimental space laboratory, part of Beijing’s quest to build a working space station by 2020.
At 9:14 p.m. local time, the official Xinhua news service reported that the spacecraft had touched down in the Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, at 9:12 p.m. after hovering over the surface for several minutes seeking an appropriate place to land.