Feeds

China's Jade Rabbit takes great hop for mankind

Rover will start looking for moon carrots in mid-December

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.