Jade rabbit

http://youtu.be/3sS9GqnDYAU

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If you are under 37, this is first time in your life that spacecraft has landed on the Moon and sent pictures back to Earth. On Saturday night (Beijing night), Chang’e 3 landed safely onto the lunar landscape. This video, taken by cameras installed onboard At first, shows the lunar landscape unspooling beneath you, then around 5:30 in the video, the craft finally chooses a landing spot, hovers, and descends.

Chang’e 3 ultimately didn’t actually land in the spot engineers said they were aiming for when they blasted off but it turns out that this location is actually more geologically interesting than the original planned landing site. It seems there is a relatively young lava flow there that Chang’e 3’s rover, jade rabbit, could study. It has already activated five of its eight scientific instruments, the state-owned newspaper Xinhua reports, and started testing the lunar soil.

China’s next plans are for craft, Chang’e 5 and Chang’e 6, that will be able to not only land on the moon, but also scoop up some samples and return again to Earth, Xinhua reports. Chang’e 4 is a backup for Chang’e 3. Looks like china is the new leader in lunar landings.

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