Posted by Brian
China makes 'giant leap' with Jade Rabbit moon rover landing
Beijing (AFP) - China's Jade Rabbit rover vehicle drove onto the moon's surface on Sunday after the first lunar soft landing in nearly four decades, a huge advance in the country's ambitious space programme.
The Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, was deployed at 4:35 am (2035 GMT Saturday), several hours after the Chang'e-3 probe landed on the moon, said the official news agency Xinhua.
Both the rover and lander are expected to take photos of each other later Sunday, it said.
China is the third country to complete a lunar rover mission after the United States and the then-Soviet Union -- a decade after it first sent an astronaut into space.
It plans to establish a permanent space station by 2020 and eventually send a human to the moon.
The mission is seen as a symbol of China's rising global stature and technological advancement, as well as the Communist Party's success in reversing the fortunes of the once-impoverished nation.
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