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China landed an unmanned spacecraft on the moon on Saturday, state media reported, in the first such "soft-landing" since 1976, joining the United States and the former Soviet Union in managing to accomplish such a feat.http://www.space.com/23938-china-moon-r ... cting.html
The Chang'e 3, a probe named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, is carrying the solar-powered Yutu, or Jade Rabbit buggy, which will dig and conduct geological surveys.
Once on the moon, the lander will unleash the instrument-laden Yutu rover, a six-wheeled robot built to trundle across the dusty, time-weathered terrain for months. Yutu — which means "Jade Rabbit" — is named after the rabbit that travels with the goddess Chang'e to the moon in Chinese legends. [See photos from China's Chang'e 3 moon landing and rover mission]
The solar-powered Yutu rover comes equipped with cameras, a robotic arm tipped with science sensors and a radar system attached to its underbelly. The stationary lander itself is instrumented to observe Earth, astronomically eye other celestial objects from the moon, as well as watch the Yutu rover scamper about.
Chinese space officials have been clear about surveying the moon and then tapping it for its resources.
"China has made no secret of their interest in lunar Helium-3 fusion resources," said Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, a former Apollo 17 moonwalker and professional geologist.