Moon Landing Footage from Chinese ‘Jade Rabbit’
Footage from the first soft moon landing in 37 year has been released. The stunning images show the lander’s approach to the surface of the moon before softly touching down in a successful landing procedure. Chang’e 3 was launched by a CZ-3B (Long March 3B) rocket at 01:30 local time on 2 December from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre (XSLC). Homes near the launch site were damaged by falling hardware from the CZ-3B, over 150,000 residents were temporarily relocated prior to the launch and as a result there were no reported injuries due to falling debris.
Chinese State media said that the probe landed just after 09:00 local time and until now had only shown animations and representations of the craft. The attached rover departed the lander several hours after launch, using a ramp deployed by the lander itself – Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, will be analysing elements from the moon’s surface for natural resources for approximately 3 months. This is the most advanced rover to land on the moon and scientists hope they will gain a new understanding by using its ground-penetrating radar.
China plans to launch additional missions involving the moon to retrieve more information, including bringing lunar samples back to earth and conducting a survey on the landing site for the beginning of the next stage of the Chinese space program. They expect to land an astronaut on the moon in a manned mission sometime between 2025 and 2030. In reaction to George Bush’s statement with the goal of establishing a base on the moon the Chinese government announced similar plans. This successful moon landing mission is the first major step in many years towards achieving this long-term ambitious target.