Chang’e Is Home
The CBC reports that China lands rover on the moon
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.
I wish them luck and hope they discover a lot of new things about our nearest neighbor. It’s comforting that at least some people think discovery is important.
Update from the BBC – Jade Rabbit has ‘hopped’ out of Chang’e's ‘lap’ and is playing on the lunar surface. The Chinese have estimated a three month mission for Jade Rabbit and a year for Chang’e, but US experience on Mars shows that a much longer life is very possible.