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Saturday, December 14, 2013

China's Chang'e 3 landing on the Moon | December 14

China has landed the first rover on the moon in 37 years, since the height of the space race, with its Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover, or Chang'e 3 (嫦娥3號). This is also the first soft landing of a spacecraft on the lunar surface in nearly four decades, making it a significant step in the country's ambitious space programme which plans to send a manned mission to the moon by 2030.

Chinese scientists are hoping to gather valuable information on lunar soil from this rover, which contains some of the most advanced robotics ever developed in china. Meanwhile, the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program will use the overall mission specs itself to see how to make an ideal manned moon landing in the coming decades.

Ouyang Ziyuan, a prominent Chinese geologist and cosmochemist, was among the first people to advocate the exploitation not only of known lunar reserves of metals such as iron, but also of lunar helium-3, an ideal fuel for future nuclear fusion power plants. Therefore the science, engineering and industry base in China have a strong incentive to explore and colonise the moon.

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