China Releases Footage of Jade Rabbit Moon Landing

Posted on December 16, 2013

China has successfully landed its Jade Rabbit rover on the Moon. The rover and lander were launched on December 2nd from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. CNN reports that the six-wheeled rover will study soil and rocks on the moon over the next 3 months. The rover weighs 140 kilograms and contains optical telescope, ultraviolet cameras, radioisotope heater units and equipment for digging up soil samples. CNN says the Jade Rabbit name (Yutu in Chinese) was selected in an online poll. Chang'e, the Chinese goddess of the Moon, has a white rabbit as a pet.

Reuters reports that China plans to continue advancing its space program and aims to collect and return home lunar samples by 2017, when it will launch its next unmanned lunar probe. Reuters says China also plans to have a working space station by 2020.

Space.com has an infographic here showing Yutu's landing site. China released the following footage of the moon landing. Take a look: