Feeds

China's Jade Rabbit takes great hop for mankind

Rover will start looking for moon carrots in mid-December

Build a business case: developing custom apps

China’s first lunar rover, dubbed Yutu or "Jade Rabbit", has finally left the hutch today as part of the Chang’e 3 mission to become the first Moon landing probe sent up by the People’s Republic.

Given the ground-breaking nature of the flight, several of the country’s biggest names in technology were there to lend their support.

The founders of Tencent, Sohu, Qihoo and Xiaomi – who between them have enough cash in the bank to finance a space mission of their own – posed for this pic in front of the Long March 3-B rocket (via @niubi).

Presumably Baidu’s Robin Li and Sina’s Charles Chao are behind the camera.

The rocket took off successfully from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province at 1.30 this morning and is now in transfer orbit en route to the Moon, according to Xinhua.

Chang’e 3 is expected to reach the Moon in mid-December where it will apparently carry out various geological surveying projects.

The mission forms the second stage of China’s lunar program and is a likely precursor to a fully manned landing in the future, although Beijing hasn’t released details of exactly when this might happen.

For the record, the lunar rover’s name is apparently a reference to a Chinese myth in which deity Chang’e swallows a magic pill and is carried up to the Moon, along with her pet rabbit Yutu. For all its bluster, China is still something of a newcomer to space exploration, with NASA’s focus now firmly set on Mars.

China rival India also seems to be eschewing the Moon for the Red Planet, having just announced its Mangalyaan Mars Orbiter Mission is finally on the way to its destination. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.