Video and photos of China’s lunar rover mission
China’s robotic moon landing mission, which arrived there two months ago, has produced the digital era’s first high-resolution images from the lunar surface. But unlike NASA’s practice with its Mars rovers, Chinese officials have not produced any mosaics or panoramas from images taken by the Chang’e 3 lander or rover.
That task fell to amateurs.
BEIJING (AP) — Louise Watts reports: China on Saturday successfully carried out the world’s first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades, state media said, the next stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon.
The unmanned Chang’e 3 lander, named after a mythical Chinese goddess of the moon, touched down on Earth’s nearest neighbor following a 12-minute landing process.
The probe carried a six-wheeled moon rover called “Yutu,” or “Jade Rabbit,” the goddess’ pet. After landing Saturday evening on a fairly flat, Earth-facing part of the moon, the rover was slated to separate from the Chang’e eight hours later and embark on a three-month scientific exploration.
China will launch a lander and rover to the moon by the end of this year, officials announced Wednesday, part of an ambitious plan to return samples from the lunar surface by 2017 and send humans within the next decade.
China will send a rover to the moon by the end of the year, officials announced Wednesday. Though it was originally slated for September, officials are now planning to launch early December 2 local time (December 1 in the US).
“The Chang’e-3 mission makes best use of a plethora of innovative technology. It is an extremely difficult mission that carries great risk,” said Ma Xingrui, head of China’s space exploration body and chief commander of the lunar program. Read the rest of this entry »