one small step

China Lands Rover on the Moon

The world’s first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades was accomplished on Saturday by China, according to the country’s state media. The unmanned Chang’e 3 lander, named after a Chinese moon goddess, touched down without damage to the craft or its equipment—the first such accomplishment since the Soviet Union’s landing in 1976. The probe carried a moon rover (named “Yutu,” after the goddess’s pet) which separated from the Chang’e eight hours after landing and embarked on a three-month scientific expedition. The probe’s landing is the next step in a space program that eventually aims to land a Chinese astronaut on the moon.