China's first lunar rover to land on moon Saturday

Dec 13, 2013
Photo taken on November 5, 2013 shows a model of "Jade Rabbit" at the China International Industry Fair 2013 in Shanghai

A space module carrying China's first lunar rover is scheduled to land on the moon Saturday, authorities said Friday, describing the manouevre as the mission's greatest challenge.

The spacecraft is scheduled to make touchdown 12 days after the Chang'e-3 mission blasted off on a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the country's southwest.

"On the evening of December 14, Chang'e-3 will carry out a soft landing on the ," said a post on the mission's official blog on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter.

The task was described as the mission's "most difficult" in the post, which was written by the Chinese Academy of Sciences on behalf of the country's space authorities.

The Chang'e-3 mission is named after the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology and the rover vehicle is called Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, after her pet.

The landing is expected to mark the latest step in an ambitious space programme which is seen as a symbol of China's rising global stature and technological advancement.

China is aiming to become the third country to carry out a rover mission, following the United States and former Soviet Union decades ago.

The Chang'e-3 rocket carrying the Jade Rabbit rover blasts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's southwest province of Sichuan on December 2, 2013


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Egleton
1 / 5 (2) Dec 13, 2013
How soon before we see a red star planted in the regolith?
Or did you Yanks think you owned it?
Yesterdays heros.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Dec 13, 2013
Yeah I'm really excited about a nation who's already violated three key points of the OST flagrantly, blatantly, and unapologetically making advances like this. China isn't has proved it's not a responsible enough member of the world community to be in space at this time.
GSwift7
3 / 5 (4) Dec 13, 2013
It's too bad that US law prohibits NASA from working directly with China right now. Hopefully that will change before too long, and then perhaps US, EU, Russia and China together can attempt missions that would otherwise cost too much.

I hope this rover mission goes as planned, as it will encourage them to try even bolder missions. It would really be great to have people walking on the moon again.

I don't know about you guys, but I'd really love to see a healthy space race between the major space countries right now. The previous space race really only had two contenders, USSR and USA. A four way race between all of us would be a LOT of fun to watch.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Dec 13, 2013
I don't know about you guys, but I'd really love to see a healthy space race between the major space countries right now. The previous space race really only had two contenders, USSR and USA. A four way race between all of us would be a LOT of fun to watch.


I think China's entry is the only reason we're even TALKING about stopping playing patty-cake in LEO and going back to the moon. So in that sense yes, it's a very good thing. I love the idea of cooperation with China, however the reality is quite different. Russia, as corrupt as they are at least has a decent track record (as far as we know) of being responsible in space. They've made mistakes, we all have, but at least they were MISTAKES. As opposed to China's cowboy B.S. of PURPOSEFULLY blowing up a satellite and polluting the hell out of an already trashed up neighborhood. I think they need to spend some time in the proverbial corner as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 13, 2013
It's too bad that US law prohibits NASA from working directly with China right now. Hopefully that will change before too long
Whys that? They have everything to gain and we have everything to lose. Did you miss their recent aggression in commandeering international airspace? Besides, competition is healthy.

"Cyber Espionage: The Chinese Threat
"Experts at the highest levels of government say it's the biggest threat facing American business today. Hackers are stealing valuable trade secrets, intellectual property and confidential business strategies."

-Much of what NASA does is directly related to national defense and corporate security. Would you just want to hand them this info?
GSwift7
not rated yet Dec 16, 2013
Otto:

Much of what NASA does is directly related to national defense and corporate security. Would you just want to hand them this info?


Okay, read your comment back to yourself and ask yourself if that actually makes any sense. How would you feel about that comment if you were me?

NASA has partnerships with a number of different countries and private industry, and I don't see a problem with any of those partnerships jeopardizing national security. Get real dude.

As for your quote regarding Chinese spying, you know countries spy on eachother, right? There's a TON of spying happening all the time, and it's mostly just people trying to make a buck. Remember that phone hacking scandal in the UK a few months ago? The only reason those people go caught is because they went and printed it in the freakin' newspaper. How hard do you think it would be for a motivated person to hack into phones at NASA?

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