What's up Kerbal Space Program fans and you know, people interested in real, actual space travel. China has now launched its first lunar rover, attached to the Chang'e-3 lunar probe with the intended mission of surveying the moon's surface and looking for natural resources that can one day perhaps be mined and exploited for deeper space travel.
While moon landings might seem a bit old hat at this point, what with the giant Curiosity rover tearing it up over on Mars, don't count this probe out. The Chang'e-3's payload is the most technologically advanced rover to ever land on the surface of that celestial body. Known as Yutu, it will be able to scan the ground for its underlying structure thanks to onboard radar equipment. It will also set up a telescope on the moon for the first time ever.
Yes way Lloyd and the mission is going well too, with the probe currently sitting in earth orbit and going through the motions to reach the Mun. I mean moon. According to Wired, the probe will touch down with rover attached in mid-December, at which point it will become the first moon lander to hit the surface since the turn of the century.
China isn't stopping there however. This is expected to be the first stage of China's first manned mission to the moon, with plans for more manned space flights over the next few years, including potentially a co-op mission with India.
KitGuru Says: More space travel is more gooder. It's great to see more countries building established space programs. Anything that accelerates the creation of moon bases and other cool sci-fi stuff, the better.