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.
Bunny Reboots: China Space Fans Cheer as Jade Rabbit Moon Rover Awakens, Tweets, Rolls Back into ActionPosted: February 13, 2014
“It’s alive!! The rabbit is still alive!! The rabbit’s awake!! It’s really awake!!”
wrote one user on weibo.
“Wake up darling baby…Billions of people are calling out to you!”
What, pray tell, were they speaking to? China’s Moon rover, of course.
The Jade Rabbit, named after the mythical pet of China’s Moon goddess, has captured the attention of millions in China.
The six-wheeled exploration vehicle is equipped with cutting-edge radars that allow it to study the Moon’s crust. Multiple cameras on the rover’s exterior allow it to photograph its surroundings and beam them back to Earth.
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 its first ever moon rover mission on Monday, state media said, as Beijing embarks on the latest stage in its ambitious space programme.
A rocket carrying the vehicle, named “Jade Rabbit” in a nod to Chinese folklore, will blast off at 1:30 am local time (Sunday 1730 GMT).
Official news agency Xinhua also confirmed the launch date, citing officials at the satellite launch centre in Sichuan province.
China offered a rare glimpse into its secretive space programme on Tuesday, displaying a model of a lunar rover that will explore the moon’s surface in an upcoming mission.
Beijing has ambitious space goals, including plans to send its first probe to land on the moon by the end of this year, state media reported in August.
The gold-coloured rover model, with six wheels and wing-like solar panels, attracted admiring crowds at the opening of the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai.