Virtual Tour of Chinese Lunar Landing Site

This image shows terrain matched in an image from the Chang'e 3 lander and an image from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. See a larger version. Credit: CNSA/NASA/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo/Mark Robinson

This image shows terrain matched in an image from the Chang’e 3 lander and an image from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. See a larger version.
Credit: CNSA/NASA/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo/Mark Robinson

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.

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Bunny Reboots: China Space Fans Cheer as Jade Rabbit Moon Rover Awakens, Tweets, Rolls Back into Action

There has been tender outpouring of adoration for China's Moon rover

There has been tender outpouring of adoration for China’s Moon rover

“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.

Jade Rabbit, named after the mythical pet of China's Moon goddess, is equipped with multiple cameras

Jade Rabbit, named after the mythical pet of China’s Moon goddess, is equipped with multiple cameras

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.

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CHINA LANDS PROBE ON THE MOON

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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.

This Saturday Dec. 14, 2013 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, shows a picture of the moon surface taken by the on-board camera of the lunar probe Chang'e-3 on the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China. China on Saturday successfully carried out the world's first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades, the next stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Wang Jianmin

This Saturday Dec. 14, 2013 photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, shows a picture of the moon surface taken by the on-board camera of the lunar probe Chang’e-3 on the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing (AP Photo/Xinhua, Wang Jianmin

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.

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China Readies to Launch First Moon Rover Mission

This file photo shows a model of a lunar rover 'Jade Rabbit', seen on display at the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, on November 5, 2013

This file photo shows a model of a lunar rover ‘Jade Rabbit’, seen on display at the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, on November 5, 2013

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).

“The Chang’e 3 is set to be launched for its moon mission from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2,” state broadcaster CCTV said on its verified Twitter account on Saturday.

Official news agency Xinhua also confirmed the launch date, citing officials at the satellite launch centre in Sichuan province.

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China Shows Off Moon Rover Model Before Space Launch

China unveils a model of a lunar rover at the China International Industry Fair 2013 in Shanghai, on November 5, 2013China unveils a model of a lunar rover at the China International Industry Fair 2013 in Shanghai, on November 5, 2013

China unveils a model of a lunar rover at the China International Industry Fair 2013 in Shanghai, on November 5, 2013China unveils a model of a lunar rover at the China International Industry Fair 2013 in Shanghai, on November 5, 2013

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.

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