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NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter takes a picture of China's Chang'e 3

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NASA announced on December 30, 2013 that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a picture of the Chinese Chang’e 3 probe, now resting at its landing site on the moon’s Bay of Rainbows. The large arrow in the accompanying graphic points to the Chang’e 3 lander and the smaller arrow points to the Jade Rabbit rover, now in temporary hibernation during lunar night.

“The rover is only about 150 cm wide, yet it shows up in the NAC images for two reasons: the solar panels are very effective at reflecting light so the rover shows up as two bright pixels, and the Sun is setting thus the rover casts a distinct shadow (as does the lander).”

LRO has previously imaged a number of Apollo landing sites, showing clearly the descent modules, the American flags that were erected, and in some cases the tracks of lunar rovers. These images, as if proof were needed, demonstrated that conspiracy theorists who maintain that the Apollo moon landings were faked are thoroughly off base. The latest image, of course, proves that the mission of the Chang’e 3 and its Jade Rabbit rover is also happening.

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