China's 'Jade Rabbit' lunar rover deployed on moon: Xinhua
BEIJING (AFP) - China has deployed its lunar rover vehicle on the moon, state media said early Sunday, Dec 15, 2013, hours after carrying out the first soft landing on Earth's satellite since 1976 in a major step for Beijing's ambitious space programme.
The Yutu rover was deployed on the moon's surface "several hours" after the Chang'e-3 probe landed, according to official news agency Xinhua, making China the third country to complete a lunar rover mission, after the United States and the former Soviet Union.
Citing the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre, the agency said the rover, whose name means "Jade Rabbit" in English, "has touched the lunar surface". State television station CCTV tweeted an image that it said showed the rover separating from the lander at 4.35 am Beijing time.
The rover will spend about three months exploring the moon's surface and looking for natural resources.