China moon rover enters lunar orbit

December 6, 2013
Photo taken on November 5, 2013 shows a model of "Jade Rabbit" at the China International Industry Fair 2013 in Shanghai

China's first lunar rover entered the moon's orbit on Friday, state media reported, a key step towards the vessel's planned landing later this month.

The rover—known as Yutu, or Jade Rabbit—reached lunar orbit late Friday, the official Xinhua news agency said, about 112 hours after it was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China.

It is expected to touch down on the moon in mid-December to explore its surface and search for natural resources.

The Chang'e-3 mission—named for the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology, with the rover vehicle named after her pet—will make China the third country to land a rover on the moon, following the United States and the former Soviet Union decades ago.

China sees its space programme as a symbol of its growing international status and technological advancement, as well as of the Communist Party's success in reversing the fortunes of the once impoverished nation.

It aims to establish a permanent space station by 2020 and eventually send a human to the moon.

The rover mission has been greeted with expressions of pride from Chinese Internet users, and China's government, seeking to capitalise on the excitement, on Friday announced that it had begun sales of Jade Rabbit replicas made of zinc and silver.

The mission has even inspired one enterprising Beijing man to create a do-it-yourself , which he has put up for sale on China's popular Taobao Internet shopping site for 2,250 yuan ($370).

Explore further: China to send 'jade rabbit' to Moon: state media

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wealthychef
4 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2013
Very cool and kudos to our Chinese friends for their achievement! Cool name too.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2013
China's government, seeking to capitalise on the excitement, on Friday announced that it had begun sales of Jade Rabbit replicas made of zinc and silver.


Put 'em in happy meals too!! Yay capitalism er communism...er...
PhotonX
5 / 5 (3) Dec 06, 2013
That wheel configuration certainly looks familiar--but hey, go with what works, right? Good luck to the Chinese, I hope your mission is a success.
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Ober
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 06, 2013
While I'm watching this mission with excitement, I just love how every article regarding this mission has to have this sentence in it; "China sees its space programme as a symbol of its growing international status and technological advancement, as well as of the Communist Party's success in reversing the fortunes of the once impoverished nation."

Could we see an article, JUST ONCE, without that line in it?
ipman
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 06, 2013
I agree with Ober above. I know this may come as a surprise to some but the Chinese actually like science and astronomy, a lot actually.. regardless who is looking. Politics are not really that important and who has done what for what reason or what vanity. We'd do it even if no one was looking because its just fascinating good stuff. Better than sports or politics or other spectator sports.
Shootist
1 / 5 (3) Dec 07, 2013
Congratulations. Have a successful landing. May you find riches beyond the dreams of avarice.
RobotB9
not rated yet Dec 08, 2013
So china uses a US patent to make their rover? http://www.google...SD437255
GSwift7
not rated yet Dec 09, 2013
So china uses a US patent to make their rover?


That wouldn't be surprising, if it is true (not doubting, just haven't looked it up). Just about everything NASA does is available for use upon request. The Russians purchased plans for the space shuttle, and a technical support contract, from NASA and built their own modified version. NASA acquires patents to protect their work and keep it available to the world, not to make money or keep things secret.

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