So we’re back on the moon, pushing the boundaries again after 40 years. I rather like the name Jade Rabbit, understated antithesis of the boldly-go bravura of the space age!
and invites us to return,
push back again the ragged edge of knowledge.
Forty years since we last engaged
and raised the flag
upon your dusty, pock-marked soil, Selene.
And in that time you haven’t changed, have we?
Once the flesh-claws of the eagle scarred your lunar strands;
14th December 2013 – headline from the Independent
Notes: “China’s Jade Rabbit rover lands on moon.” China has reported landing its Jade Rabbit rover on the moon, in the first soft landing of a rover in nearly four decades today, the latest step in the country’s ambitious space programme. The landing makes China the third nation to carry out a lunar soft landing after the United States and the former Soviet Union. The last one was in 1976. Yutu, or “Jade Rabbit” was launched onboard the Chang’e 3 lander on 1 December and now begins a three-month scientific exploration, looking for natural resources. The 120kg (260lb) rover can travel at 200m per hour and climb slopes at up to 20 degrees. Its name was chosen in an online poll where 3.4 million people voted and derives from an ancient Chinese myth about a rabbit living on the moon as the pet of the lunar goddess Chang’e.
- China Will Launch Its 1st Moon Rover, ‘Jade Rabbit,’ On Sunday (space.com)
- China moon rover enters lunar orbit: Xinhua (spacedaily.com)
- China launches its first moon-landing mission (nbcnews.com)