A China moon landing is making headline news as they are now the third country to soft-land a spacecraft on the moon. China’s moon landing makes the first visitor from earth in over 35 years, so this is a moon landing many eyes around the globe are watching today, according to the Christian Science Monitor on Dec. 14.
Another interesting aspect of China’s moon landing that folks will be watching for is when China unleashes their lunar rover, Jade Rabbit. on the surface of the moon. This moon rover can “see” 300 feet beneath the moon’s surface with the special radar equipment it has on board.
Jade Rabbit has all the latest technology on board, which means scientific data will be plentiful once the lunar rover gets roaming. Jade Rabbit will analyze rocks and identify the minerals it comes across on the moon.
The Chinese are interested in the possibilities of mining the moon someday in the distant future. They are hoping that Jade Rabbit will identify some useful elements. China now joins the U.S. and the Soviet Union as the only three countries that have had controlled landings or soft-landings on the moon.
Jade Rabbit is named after a pet belonging to Chang’s, the goddess of the moon, in Chinese legend. If all goes as planned the rover will transmit information back to Earth for several months. The next step for the Chinese is to develop another moon landing for gathering up some of the elements they’ve analyzed on this mission and have them come back to earth to take a closer look.