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OTD in Space - Dec. 1: China Launches Its First Lunar Rover

8 months ago|0 views
On Dec. 1, 2013, China launched its first-ever mission to land a rover on the moon. With the Yutu rover on board, the Chang'e 3 moon lander lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on a modified Long March 3B rocket. The mission was named after the Chang'e, the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology. The rover, Yutu, was named after the Jade Rabbit, who was a companion of the moon goddess. Chang'e 3 arrived in lunar orbit five days after the launch and touched down on the lunar surface one week later. It was the first spacecraft to do a soft landing on the moon in 37 years. A few hours later, the small, six-wheeled vehicle emerged from the spacecraft, becoming the first robot to rove on the moon since 1973.

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