News / Science & Technology

China Launches Moon Rover Mission

The Long March-3B rocket carrying the Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province, in the early morning hours, Dec. 2, 2013.
The Long March-3B rocket carrying the Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province, in the early morning hours, Dec. 2, 2013.
VOA News
China says the launch of its first ever robotic mission to the moon's surface has been a success

The Chang'e-3 lunar probe, which includes the "Jade Rabbit" rover buggy, blasted off early Monday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's southwestern Sichuan province.

The probe is scheduled to land on the moon in mid-December to explore its surface and look for natural resources. China aims to become only the third nation to carry out a lunar rover mission following ones from the United States and former Soviet Union decades earlier.

Morris Jones, an Australia-based independent Asia space analyst, says this mission is, in many ways, China's most ambitious.

"Landing on the moon is going to be tricky," Jones said. "The moon is fairly treacherous terrain. There is no pilot on board, and so it's going to take a lot of skill by the onboard computer to steer the vehicle to a safe landing."

This craft is expected to make a "soft" lunar landing, which was last accomplished by the Soviet Union in 1976. “Hard” crash landings are easier, and China crashed a craft into the moon in 2009.

President Xi Jinping has said he wants China to establish itself as a space superpower, and the mission has inspired widespread pride in China's growing technological prowess.

The RAND Corporation's Scott Harold said the space program underscores China's technological nationalism.

"It's definitely a part of the Chinese government's efforts to show that they are coming of age," Harold said. "They are really increasing their technological sophistication and they're playing on a very big stage."

Online reactions to the launch from the Chinese public were mixed, ranging from expressions of pride of country to criticism that the accomplishment was done without the consent of the people and did nothing to help clothe and feed the population.

Beijing aims to establish a permanent space station by 2020 and eventually send someone to the moon.

In 2007, China launched its first moon orbiter, the Chang'e-1 - named after a lunar goddess - which took images of the surface and analyzed the distribution of elements.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bender from: Italy
December 02, 2013 12:30 PM
Come on America! Wake up!
What are you waiting for?
What does it happening to you?
Where is next spacecraft, after the Shuttle?
Come on guys, America is your name!

by: Lin from: UK
December 02, 2013 11:07 AM
I would like to say to D. Stewart, that he is correct, the Chinese are not innovative thinkers like the Jews, they are not very productive workers like the Germans and they are not very resourceful engineers like the Americans. They are just like blood suckers who would copy everything and manufacture it cheaply because they hate they own kind. You have no idea of the brutality they show each other. they are diseased and contaminated people.
In Response

by: cal from: canada
December 02, 2013 12:51 PM
Say nothing, wait for another 10 years, then see what happens.

by: lin from: China
December 02, 2013 6:40 AM
Great job!
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 03, 2013 5:31 PM
Yes, if soft landing is completed successfully.

by: D. Stewart from: USA
December 02, 2013 5:25 AM
I have been involved, junior capacity, with several missions. and I am disgusted to learn how little the Chinese have shared their experience. well, really they have shared nothing. and almost all their program had been copied (duplicated) from ours. China is a disgusting regime with a degenerated mentality. do not trust the Chinese...!!
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 03, 2013 6:49 PM
I partly agree with you. We could notice that there are few inventions nor innovations made by Chinese people contibuting to developement and welfare of mankind. Look, how few Chinese people have won Nobel prize! What I can recall is only gunpowder probably as an invention of Chinese.

China has a so great number of population that there must be not a few genius who can play such a useful role for mankind. China has a mission not for threatenning neighbors but educating its nation contributing to progress of human life.
In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
December 02, 2013 10:22 AM
If all Chinese techs copied from you then why you need them to be shared?
America keeps China out from all it's space programs including the international spacestation programs, why should China share any of hers?
America is the most disgusting regime!

by: Dick from: Vietnam
December 02, 2013 1:46 AM
Use the knowledge and technology to do good thing.
Please do not use it to invade or build tension in the Southeast Asia region.
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 03, 2013 5:28 PM
To Dick, I agree with you. China is aiming at getting the moon to its territory!?
In Response

by: xu from: Japan
December 02, 2013 6:43 AM
it is a scientific research. there is nothing related to the Southeast Asia region, ok?

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
December 02, 2013 12:21 AM
Go China go! I am so proud of my motherland!
Wish the whole mission successful!

by: Totti from: Tokyo
December 01, 2013 11:44 PM
Great work, and I hope this will help people to reliaze the universe.

by: Jeff
December 01, 2013 6:44 PM
Congrats to China on their first mission to the Moon's surface!
In Response

by: Brent from: USA
December 04, 2013 2:44 PM
China is a fascist nation that must be challenged at every turn. They are predatory data & technology thieves. They violate all human rights norms. They really do not belong to the group of advanced nations - they just stole the technology to make themselves look like pioneers. I hope the Chinese people revolt soon.
In Response

by: Pete1994 from: China
December 01, 2013 8:09 PM
I feel so proud.Congrats to China.Hope China will succeed in achieving the mission.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs