Chinese Lunar Rover Lands on The Moon

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By Christine Lazaro | December 16, 2013 12:14 PM EST

The first Chinese Lunar Rover had its first landing on the moon making a similar accomplishment like the US and former Soviet Union. This is considered a major step for the space programme and visions of Beijing to grow and achieve a milestone.

According to NBC News, the unmanned lander is called Chang'e 3 which was taken from the name of a goddess of the moon in China. It landed within a 12-minute process. Its probe had a rover with six wheels that is called Jade Rabbit or Yutu which is the pet name of the goddess mentioned. The Chinese lunar rover is set to go through a three month exploration in space.

It was China Central Television who showed the image of the path of the Chang'e 3 lander as it comes near the moon's surface. When it came close to the moon about a hundred meters away from the Earth, then various images of the moon were broadcasted. Its solar panels which will generate power for the lander opened right after landing. It will also set up some antennas so as to transmit better and clearer images back to Earth.

CNN added that the Chang'e had a total weight of 140 kilograms and carries an optical telescope to carry out astronomical observations along with an ultraviolet camera to monitor various solar activities. It also has radioisotope heater units so that it can still work even during cold nights.

The news of the Chinese Lunar Rover landing quickly spread on popular message boards online with keywords and hashtags that say 'Chang'e lunar landing.' In just minutes, it became on top of the search list of the popular social media site in China Weibo.


(Video Credit: YouTube/Al Jazeera English)

According to the Shanghai Aerospace Systems Engineering Research Institute, the Chinese lunar rover can climb slopes that can go in angles up to 30 degrees and travel at a speed of about 200 meters per hour. Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor for the national security affairs for the US Naval War College stated that China aimed to land on the moon for reasons of domestic legitimacy and even for other geostrategic reasons.

Ms Freese added that the Chinese lunar rover landing has opened an opportunity for the country to be seen by the world as a technology leader even if the US space agency still has more assets found in space.

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