Monday, December 2, 2013

Moon... Rover... Wider Than A Mile... ♬

China today launched a spacecraft aimed at soft-landing a rover on the Moon in the middle of this month. The mission is named Chang'e 3, after a mythical Chinese moon goddess, and the rover is named Yutu or Jade Rabbit, after her equally mythical pet.

In 2003, China entered the very small club of nations involved (currently or previously) in human space flight. More recently, China successfully sent an unmanned craft to orbit the Moon, subsequently intentionally crashing it into the Moon. (Better to litter the surface than space near the Moon!)

Search Google Images on "chang'e 3 rover" for a lot of pictures related to the mission. The rover is not much to look at, but it's a lot more substantial than America's current Moon program, which is, uh, mythical. My best wishes to the goddess and her rabbit.

Afterthought: An Australian analyst goes all touchy-cranky about accusations of similarity of design to America's Mars rovers.


  1. Actually, it is not the Australian analyst that goes all 'touchy-cranky' (whatever that means??) it's the "Chinese scientist" from the South China Morning Post. The Australian analyst is writing for I would also add that the "Chinese scientist" is most likely a Hong Kong native rather than from the mainland since criticisms of the state (or programmes run by the state) are much more likely to come from Hong Kong residents...

    1. Welcome, Andrew! You are of course correct... one could reasonably say that I posted in haste, and may repent at leisure. In my 65 years, I've had a number of Australian colleagues, some of whom became good friends, and all of whom I very much liked working with.

      On another topic, I am very much enjoying reading your family travel blog, particularly your excursions in the American West; in my younger years, I made several trips in that part of the country, one to Colorado to participate in a masterclass on recorder (the musical instrument) with noted Belgian performer Eva Legêne, another to visit a girlfriend in Berkeley, and still another down the West Coast to celebrate a birthday (age ending in '0'). The scenery is magnificent out there!



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