China prepares for first lunar rover landing on the moon
BEIJING (AFP) - China will attempt to land a probe carrying the country's first lunar rover on the moon on Saturday in a major breakthrough for its ambitious space programme.
The spacecraft is expected to make touchdown at about 9pm local time, the mission's official microblogging page said, 12 days after Chang'e-3 blasted off on a Long March-3B carrier rocket.
China is aiming to become the third country to carry out a rover mission, following the United States and former Soviet Union, which also made the last soft landing on the moon 37 years ago.
"At about 9pm, Chang'e-3's probe will carry out a soft landing on the moon," the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said in an online post written for the official Chang'e-3 page on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter.