Yutu on the way to the Moon

Universe @ CSIRO

Along with maybe a billion other people, we watched in fascination as the China National Space Administration (CNSA) successfully launched the Chang’e 3 spacecraft and Yutu rover on  the 1st December 2013. Broadcast live on the internet and via some cable news networks, the two-part spacecraft was carried aloft on a Long March 3B rocket, roaring away from the launch pad and into the night sky.

What made this launch particularly interesting was the multitude of cameras that CNSA had mounted, not only around the launch pad, but on the tower and rocket itself. We’ve sort of gotten used to seeing this with NASA, but this is quite new for a Chinese mission.

VIDEO: Coverage of the launch of Chang’e 3 (Chinese language only). See the end of the article for a longer English version.

The images were quite impressive, particularly the shots of the spacecraft separating from…

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