At 21:12 (GMT 8+) on the 14th December, China’s Chang’e-3 and the lunar rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) landed on the moon successfully making China the world’s 3rd country to independently implement a soft landing on the moon.
The landing process took about 12 minutes in which the Chang’e-3 Lunar Rover reduced the height from 15 km to zero while the relative speed was decreased from 1.7 km per second to zero gradually. As previously reported that when the height is reduced to 100 meter, the Chang’e-3 Lunar Rover will hover and enter into the final stage of landing during which the Chang’e-3 Lunar Rover will be all by its own as the ground control will be basically “powerless”. This period of time is called the “Black 750 seconds.” When the height is further reduced to 4 meter, the Chang’e-3 Lunar Rover will turn off the engine and land on the moon by free fall. According to the landing signals sent from the rover, all four legs of the rover had touch the moon representing a prefect landing.
This also remarks the 130th lunar exploration activity by human, and the last time a probe landed on the moon could be traced back to the “Luna 24 (Луна 24)” sent by the Soviet Union in 1976. Following the landing, the “Rabbit Rover” will get ready to leave the lander and begin a scientific exploration which will last approximately three months, but it will never to return to the earth.
Source: Xinhua Net