Chang’e-3: China’s lunar probe carrying 'Jade Rabbit' moon buggy lifts off
In an attempt to carry out its first ever ‘soft landing’ on moon, China launched its lunar mission-Chang’e-3 which is carrying country’s first moon rover marking a major milestone for China’s space programme.
Soft Landing: A landing by a spacecraft on the moon or a planet at a sufficiently low velocity for the equipment or occupants to remain unharmed.
About Chang’e-3 lunar probe
- China’s first lunar rover mission aimed at exploring the Moon’s surface and looking for natural resources such as rare metals.
- Launching Site: Xichang Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China’s southwestern Sichuan province
- Launched on: December 2, 2013
- Carrier: Long March-3B
- Key Payload: Six-wheeled robotic rover called Yutu (or Jade Rabbit) and a landing module.
- Expected landing: In the Moon’s northern hemisphere in mid-December.
Note: If the lunar mission is successful, China will become the third country, after the United States and the former Soviet Union, to soft-land on the moon.