Lunar Probe Chang'e-3 Soft-lands on Moon, Scientific Equipment Aboard Starts Working

China's lunar probe Chang'e-3, with the country's first moon rover onboard, successfully landed on the moon on Saturday night, marking the first time that China has sent a spacecraft to soft land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body. 

The success made China the third country, after the United States and the Soviet Union, to soft-land on the moon. 

The lunar probe began to carry out soft-landing on the moon at about 21:00 p.m., Saturday and touched down in Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, about 12 minutes later. 

Scientific equipment aboard entered working mode to observe space, the Earth and the Moon. Telescopes and cameras have produced clear images. 

Chang'e-3 is part of the second phase of China's lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to the Earth. It follows the success of the Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 missions in 2007 and 2010.




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