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China successfully launched unmanned Lunar Probe- Chang'e-3

China on 2 December 2013 successfully sent an unmanned lunar probe with a robotic rover to soft land on the Moon, and to explore moon’s surface.

Dec 2, 2013 17:00 IST
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lunar probeChina on 2 December 2013 successfully sent an unmanned lunar probe with a robotic rover to soft land on the Moon, and to explore moon’s surface. The probe Chang'e-3 was launched into orbit aboard an enhanced Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre

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The mission was the 25th launch of the Long March-3B, which is the most powerful launch vehicle in the Long March fleet. Chang'e-3 comprises a lander and a Moon rover called "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit).

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

The lunar probe will land on the Moon in mid-December 2013 according to the plan. So far, only the United States and the former Soviet Union have soft-landed on the Moon. India's Chandrayaan-1, which was credited to have discovered water in the lunar surface made a hard landing on the Moon.

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