space travel

China Made It to the Moon

Citing the official Xinhua state news service, Reuters reports that China successfully “soft-landed” an unmanned spacecraft in the moon’s Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, at 9:12 p.m. local time Saturday. The Chang’e 3 is the third rover to complete such a landing, and the first since 1976 (the United States and the former Soviet Union have already been there, done that.) Controlled by the Chinese with support from the European Space Agency, the Chang’e 3 is currently carrying Yutu, a solar-powered Jade Rabbit buggy that will dig and conduct geological surveys in the coming days. Reuters adds, “The probe and the rover are expected to photograph each other on Sunday,” so we’re anticipating something kind of like this.