Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Bayrou decides to march with Macron

Read more

THE DEBATE

France's Topsy-Turvy Election: Uncertain outcome as insurgents blow away old guard (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

France's Topsy-Turvy Election: Uncertain outcome as insurgents blow away old guard (part 2)

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Amnesty chief urges France to 'stay true to its values'

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Certain Women', 'Rock’n Roll' and 'A Wedding'

Read more

FOCUS

#BringBackOurInternet: English-speaking Cameroon hit by digital blackout

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Preaching coexistence: Avant-garde mosque opens in Lebanon's Druze heartland

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Prison guards turn guns on prisoners in Chile, and thousands of migrants stuck in smoky warehouses in Serbia

Read more

FACE-OFF

French presidential race: Le Pen makes groundbreaking visit to Lebanon

Read more

Asia-pacific

China launches its first lunar rover mission

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-01

China on Monday launched its first ever moon rover mission, becoming the third nation to do so as the country advances its ambitious space programme.

China on Monday launched its first ever lunar rover, marking a milestone development in the country's ambitious space exploration programme, state TV showed.

The Chang'e Three rocket carrying the unmanned buggie took off at around 1.30 a.m. (Sunday 0530 GMT), the CCTV official broadcaster showed in live footage from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's southwest.

The "Jade Rabbit" vehicle, named after a rabbit in Chinese folklore that lives on the moon as lunar goddess Chang’e’s pet, will be the world’s third rover mission to land on the moon, with both the United States and the former Soviet Union having done so previously.

The mission is aimed at exploring the moon’s surface and to look for rare metals.

Advancing China's space programme has been a priority for the leadership, with President Xi Jinping calling for China to establish itself as a space superpower. Scientists have discussed the possibility of building a space station by 2020 and then sending a man to the moon.

Beijing insists its space programme is for peaceful purposes, but the US Defence Department has highlighted China's increasing space capabilities and said it was pursuing a variety of activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2013-12-01

  • UNITED STATES

    NASA launches spacecraft to study Mars atmosphere

    Read more

  • SPACE

    ISS astronauts make rare emergency spacewalk

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Kirobo the talking robot rockets into space

    Read more

COMMENT(S)