China Succesfully Lands Chang´e-3 Probe on the Moon
With the Chang´e-3 lander, and the Yutu rover, we have another set of eyes on the Moon
On December 14, China made history as only the third ever nation to make a soft landing on the Moon. The Chang´e-3 lunar lander successfully touched down on our primary satellite, and deployed the Yutu (jade rabbit) rover, which will explore and analyze the Moon, and send photos and information back to use here on Earth.
The Chang’e-3 and Yutu are both loaded with cameras, though we haven’t seen any high quality images come from either as of yet. The lander has access to an extreme ultraviolet camera, three panorama cameras, and a descent camera. The rover has hazard avoidance cameras for navigating itself around the Moon’s rocky surface.
So far, all the footage from the two vehicles have been released through the official Chinese television station, and no still images have come on their own. But you can watch footage of the lander’s descent, as seen via the descent camera, and Chang’e-3 and Yutu have officially both taken photos of one another, allowing their terrestrial controllers to check on their conditions.
You can see more from the mission on the CNTV site, and hopefully high-resolution images from the project will be making their way planetward in the near future!