The Chang’e 3 landed on the moon this week, marking the country’s first successful China moon landing of an unmanned spacecraft since the United States and past Soviet Union accomplished the incredible mission. The Chang-e 3 made its “soft-landing” early this Saturday morning, and was aptly named after a lunar goddess in ancient Chinese mythology. Reuters offers some insight on the accomplishment this Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013.
Although the Chang’e 3 may not look like much initially, this futuristic probe that recently landed on the moon has a very important task while out in space. Named after a traditional lunar goddess, the device holds a solar-powered Yutu, also known as a Jade Rabbit buggy, and is intended to dig lightly into the moon’s outer surface in order to research our moon while performing new geological surveys.
“In recent years, China has been increasingly ambitious in developing its space programs, for military, commercial and scientific purposes. The China moon landing only reinforces their ambition to bring the country into the international forefront in terms of modern influence. In fact, Chinese officials have moved in lock step with its emergence as a major global economic and political power using the Chang’e 3 as a prime example of its prowess.”
"The dream for lunar exploration once again lights up the China Dream," Xinhua News agency, the national news source for China, said in an official commentary.
According to the report, following a manned space mission this June 2013, the Chang’e 3 landing on the moon is meant to serve as a new mission as part of China’s overall goal to create a working space station as early as 2020. It appears that the lunar goddess spacecraft officially made contact in the Bay of Rainbows, also known as the Sinus Iridum, spending a few minutes locating a proper location to secure a good landing on the moon.
Hence the importance of a soft-landing is required, a process in which the aircraft is much less likely to be damaged. This is especially momentous during this China moon landing because of the fragile digging equipment it is carrying, adds the report. Within the next year, space experts are hoping that the geological surveys conducted by the device will provide us with new information about the bright moon we can see down here from earth.