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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spies Chang'e 3 and Yutu

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2013 • 4

As promised, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's sharp eyes spotted the Chang'e 3 lander and Yutu rover on the lunar surface on December 25. The hardware shows up as a few bright pixels throwing long, dark shadows, clearly visible in a before-and-after comparison.

Chang'e 3 update with lots of pictures: Yutu begins lunar journey

Emily Lakdawalla • December 23, 2013 • 9

There was a lot of action on Chang'e 3 over the weekend! I have lots of pictures to share, including the highest-quality one I've seen of the rover on the surface, plus video of the rover making tracks on the Moon and a 3D view of the lander.

Chang'e 3 and LADEE updates: Yutu active again, LADEE didn't detect landing

Emily Lakdawalla • December 20, 2013 • 3

Chinese state television broadcast a display of a Chang'e 3 lander image; the Yutu rover is awake; and LADEE reports a surprising non-detection of the Chang'e 3 landing.

NASA re-creates the Apollo 8 Earthrise using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data

Andrew Chaikin • December 20, 2013 • 1

If there's one thing I've learned after decades of studying the first human voyages to another world, it's that there is always more to discover about Apollo. Case in point: The Apollo 8 Earthrise photo that became one of the iconic images of the 20th century.

Chang'e 3 update: 6 instruments active, new fan-produced landing video

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2013 • 28

Today there was a lengthy press briefing by several members of the Chang'e 3 science team. A complete transcript was posted in Chinese. I have run it through two machine translators and found it to be quite informative, not just about the mission but also about attitudes about Chinese space exploration and foreign cooperation. I also have a cool fan-produced video to share.

Amazing Chang'e 3 descent video

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2013 • 8

Watch and enjoy this full video of Chang'e 3's descent onto the lunar surface.

Color photo of Yutu rover and Chang'e lander, and more on the Chang'e 3 landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • December 15, 2013 • 9

Fresh off of Chinese state television are lovely pictures taken by Chang'e 3 lander and rover of each other!

Six wheels on soil for Yutu!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2013 • 9

Here it is! Animated gifs, composed of screen grabs from Chinese state television, of the Yutu rover rolling on to the lunar surface. This was a replay, but it was no less thrilling for that; the actual rollout happened at 20:40 UT (12:40 PT). Six wheels on soil! Woohoo!

Chang'e 3 has successfully landed on the Moon!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2013 • 2

Transmitting images all the way down, China's Chang'e 3 lander successfully arrived on the lunar surface at 13:11:18 -- half an hour before the scheduled landing time. Rover deploy is set for a few hours later.

Chang'e 3 and LADEE updates -- and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, too, for good measure

Emily Lakdawalla • December 05, 2013

Chang'e 3 is just about to land on the Moon, and the LADEE orbiter has begun a new science mission there, while Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is still producing amazing images.

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