lørdag 5. januar 2019

China's far side of the moon mission is just the start of its space ambitions

As you read this, a spindly-looking silver robot with a satellite dish for a head is exploring places never seen up close before by humans. Named after the pet rabbit belonging to the mythical Chinese lunar goddess Chang'e, the Yutu 2 rover is making history as it sends back images and other data from the far side of the moon.

The rover touched down Thursday, delivered to the moon by the Chang'e 4 probe, a historical first for humankind -- the far side of the moon has not previously been visited -- and a major achievement for China's increasingly impressive space program. Thursday's landing is the first time humanity has landed anything on Earth's natural satellite since 2013. Its success "opened a new chapter in humanity's exploration of the moon," China's National Space Administration said in a statement.