China Lands Rover on Moon for First Time – UPDATE

China Lands Rover on Moon for First Time – UPDATE

UPDATE:  A link to a YouTube video of the landing has been added.

China’s Chang’e-3 spacecraft landed on the Moon at about 8:12 am Eastern Standard Time today, December 14, 2013.  The spacecraft consists of a stationary lander plus a 6-wheeled rover, called Yutu. both equipped with scientific instruments.

Launched on December 1 (Eastern Standard Time), Chang’e-3 landed in the Bay of Rainbows at Sinus Iridum and successfully deployed its solar panels.   It is the first spacecraft to make a survivable landing on the Moon since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976.

The Chang’e-3 lander is expected to operate for one year; the Yutu rover for 3 months.  Chang’e is the name of China’s mythological goddess of the Moon and Yutu is her pet rabbit who accompanies her on her travels.

This is China’s third lunar probe.  Chang-e-1 orbited the Moon in 2007 and impacted the Moon at the end of its operational lifetime (a common practice for countries that send probes to the Moon).   Change-2 in 2010 orbited the Moon and then was redirected to encounter the asteroid Toutatis.  The probe continues to operate at a distance of about 60 million kilometers from Earth.

A video of the landing from cameras aboard the spacecraft has been posted on YouTube.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.