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Chinese spacecraft lands on moon

Beijing - The first-ever Chinese spacecraft landed on the moon on Saturday, state television reported. The successful landing of the Chang'e-3 spacecraft, at 1311 GMT, makes China only the third nation to land a spacecraft on the moon, after the United States and the former Soviet Union.

It marks another key step in China’s ambitious space exploration programme, and the event was marked with celebrations at the control centre in Beijing.

The spacecraft is carrying a Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, rover.

The landing at Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, was expected to be the most difficult task of the Chang’e-3 mission, Wu Weiren, the chief designer for China’s lunar programme, said earlier.

The solar-powered, six-wheeled Jade Rabbit rover weighs 120 kilograms and has a robotic arm to collect a payload of up to 20 kilograms.//DPA




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