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‘Jade Rabbit’ is on the Moon

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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At 1.11pm UTC today (8.11 am EST) the Chang’e-3 mission made a successful soft landing in an area toward the edge of the Sinus Iridum and Mare Imbrium – shown in this image by the red flag.

Landing site of Chang'e 3 on the Moon (Credit:

That’s on the nearside of the moon – marked in a red ellipse in the figure below.

Sinus Iridum

Next up will be the attempted deployment of Yutu (Jade Rabbit), a six-wheeled lunar rover – sending back real time video as it’s driven across the lunar surface.

You can read more details here and here.



And what does it look like at the landing site? It looks like this, an early image from the lander.

View of Chang'e-3 landing site from it's monitoring camera (China National Space Administration/Associated Press)

Caleb A. Scharf About the Author: Caleb Scharf is the director of Columbia University's multidisciplinary Astrobiology Center. He has worked in the fields of observational cosmology, X-ray astronomy, and more recently exoplanetary science. His books include Gravity's Engines (2012) and The Copernicus Complex (2014) (both from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.) Follow on Twitter @caleb_scharf.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. tuned 11:14 am 12/15/2013

    Yet another astounding waste of human resources, while polluting the air with thousands of tons of rocket exhaust.

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  2. 2. jtdwyer 11:21 am 12/15/2013

    I hope this is not another hoax!
    [this is a joke] <%)

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  3. 3. N a g n o s t i c 12:28 pm 12/15/2013

    What a tiny article, and lonely too. The whole of SciAm can’t cough up more enthusiasm?

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  4. 4. sauIt 12:48 pm 12/15/2013

    The clever monkey exports his opposeably-thumbed, unnatural abominations off-Earth, to defile Selene and the Universe at large, while AGW blocking of the next Mammoth-ruled ice age proceeds apace. Horrors without end, monkey-flung. The Mammoth, the Whale, and now Selene – under monkey thumb, reign-thwarted; subjects cast under an AGW pall.

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  5. 5. sault 2:50 pm 12/15/2013

    LOL…who is hacking my account again? You must be a fairly petty and insecure individual to try and sully my name in such a cowardly manner. But I guess when your ideas are bankrupt, this is your only option…

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  6. 6. Starteller 5:44 pm 01/4/2014

    We NEVER went on the Moon. The CONSTANT radiations from the Sun and stars would have killed the astronauts in seconds and turned black the film inside the camera in an INSTANT! We need to invent first a extremely powerful magnetic field to replace the one protecting us (the Magnetosphere)compact enough to fist in a space ship or even a suit! Why people still does not understand something as simple as that? Please watch the documentary “What happened on the Moon” for MANY more errors.

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