The Chinese lunar rover i “Yutu” (Jade Rabbit) st been successfully deposited on the surface of the moon. The rover rolled a few hours after landing on a ramp from the space probe “Chang’e-3″ as the official news agency Xinhua reported in Beijing early Sunday morning. China is the third country after the United States and the former Soviet Union, where a moon landing was successful. The last time the Soviet Union had successfully sent a probe to the moon in 1976.
“Yutu” is a gold-colored vehicle with six wheels and solar wings, which is to roll with a speed of up to 200 meters per hour over the moon and cope with gradients of up to 30 percent. The rover will drive around for three months on the lunar surface and search for mineral resources, among others. Its name goes back to a white rabbit from the Chinese mythology, who lived on the moon as the moon goddess Chang’e pet.
The landing of the lunar vehicle, the next step of an ambitious Chinese space program, which provides for the establishment of a permanent space station by 2020. The first two Chinese lunar probes “Chang’e-1″ and “Chang’e-2″ were initially only sent into the orbit of the moon in 2007 and 2010.