China’s Lunar Probe Soft-Lands On The Moon, Carries China’s First Moon Rover
by Tyler Durden
Hours ago, China’s lunar probe Chang’e-3, carrying the nation’s first moon rover onboard, successfully landed on the moon, making it the first time China has sent a spacecraft to soft land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body, joining only the US and the former Soviet Union in accomplishing such a feat. Chang’e-3 is the world’s first soft-landing of a probe on the moon in nearly four decades. The last such soft-landing was carried out by the Soviet Union in 1976. As Reuters reports, 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. This is a teaser to China’s next space ambition – building its own space station. 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.