Chi­nese rover ex­plores moon

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Uk&world News -

A LU­NAR rover has be­gun ex­plor­ing the ter­rain in the world’s first mis­sion on the far side of the moon.

Jade Rab­bit 2 drove off a ramp and on to the soft, snow-like sur­face af­ter a Chi­nese space­craft made the first land­ing on the moon’s far side. A photo posted on­line by China’s space agency showed tracks left by the rover as it headed away.

“It’s a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chi­nese na­tion,” Wu Weiren, the chief de­signer of the Lu­nar Ex­plo­ration Pro­ject, told state broad­caster CCTV. “This giant leap is a de­ci­sive move for our ex­plo­ration of space and the con­quer­ing of the uni­verse.”

Pre­vi­ous moon land­ings, in­clud­ing Amer­ica’s six manned mis­sions from 1969 to 1972, have been on the near side of the moon, which faces Earth. The far side has been ob­served many times from lu­nar or­bits but never ex­plored on the sur­face.

China’s space com­mu­nity is tak­ing pride in the suc­cess­ful land­ing, which posed tech­ni­cal chal­lenges be­cause the moon blocks di­rect com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the space­craft and its con­trollers on Earth. China has been try­ing to catch up with other na­tions in space ex­plo­ration.

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