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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

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

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

15-12-2013 9:59 CST

Topics: pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program

Fresh off of Chinese state television is this screen capture showing a Chang'e 3 lander image of the Yutu rover and its tracks on the Moon:

Jade Rabbit on the Moon

CNSA / CCTV

Jade Rabbit on the Moon
Aired live on state television, the Chang'e 3 lander took a photo of the recently-deployed Yutu rover, bearing the bright red Chinese national flag, on December 15, 2013.

And here is the reverse shot, the photo taken by the Yutu rover of the Chang'e 3 lander:

Chang'e 3 lander on the Moon

CNSA / CCTV

Chang'e 3 lander on the Moon
This screen capture from Chinese state television on December 15, 2013 shows the Chang'e 3 lander sitting on the lunar surface, photographed by the Yutu rover.

Awesome.

Also not to be missed is this high-definition version of the descent imager frames showing the full landing sequence.

Meanwhile, in the hours since Chang'e 3's successful landing, many people have worked to figure out, from the descent imagery that was shared live with the world, precisely where the spacecraft landed. It's a Sunday morning so rather than summarize all of this great work I'll simply link to some of the best.

Geologically speaking, the lander came down in Mare Imbrium, at an interesting spot: very close to the boundary between high-titanium and low-titanium basaltic lava flows. The rover should be able to explore the nature of this boundary. According to an email from Moon mineralogist Carle Pieters, they are sitting on the younger, high-titanium basalt.

 
See other posts from December 2013

 

Or read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program

Comments:

Fred Thurber: 12/15/2013 08:52 CST

>many people have worked to figure out, from the descent imagery that was shared live with the world, precisely where the spacecraft landed. I don't get it. Why don't the Chinese just tell us where they landed? Are Western journalists allowed in the Chinese mission control?

Dean Male: 12/15/2013 09:46 CST

Emily - Congratulations! Yours was easily the very best website for collectively presenting so much C3 info & in near real-time. Job well done - tell your boss you deserve a pay rise! Dean

Manuel Markus: 12/16/2013 03:27 CST

with the hope that the Chinese show whether there have been to the moon, to deny Americans of Apollos! Living china!

communist Obama: 12/16/2013 08:52 CST

>----------------------------- Fred Thurber: 12/15/2013 08:52 CST >many people have worked to figure out, from the descent imagery that was shared live with the world, precisely where the spacecraft landed. I don't get it. Why don't the Chinese just tell us where they landed? Are Western journalists allowed in the Chinese mission control? ----------------------- NASA refused when Chinese scientist coming and bring the data,because a law. That's not Chinese fault.

Bob Ware: 12/16/2013 12:42 CST

The main reason for not having the exact precise landing coordinates is because the computers and landing teams are flying the spacecraft to a safe touchdown. Safe touchdown is the primary importance, not the specific location. Post flight landing checks then come into play as well as the spacecraft checkout phase. Then they worry about figuring out where they are.

Larry Stagg: 12/16/2013 11:16 CST

Do they have HD cameras on the rover like curiosity has? Or are we going to continue to see semi blurry images?

Larry Stagg: 12/17/2013 06:13 CST

It is amazing though, trying to get used to seeing the blackness of space above the moons horizon, void of air, when compared to actual seeing the sky/atmosphere above mars'.

Anonymous: 12/20/2013 05:18 CST

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fred Thurber: 12/15/2013 08:52 CST >many people have worked to figure out, from the descent imagery that was shared live with the world, precisely where the spacecraft landed. I don't get it. Why don't the Chinese just tell us where they landed? Are Western journalists allowed in the Chinese mission control? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- China National Space Administration did tell the media the coordinate of the landing site. Here is a officially released picture about the location. http://img3.cache.netease.com/photo/0001/2013-12-14/9G3C2OHH00AN0001.jpg The flag is the landing site. 19.51W 44.12N is the coordinate. The big rectangle is the 356km x 91km planned landing area. People on the internet are just trying to get a more precise coordinate and more details about the landing site.

Jason: 12/20/2013 05:46 CST

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Larry Stagg: 12/16/2013 11:16 CST Do they have HD cameras on the rover like curiosity has? Or are we going to continue to see semi blurry images? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- They do have HD cameras on the rover and lander. The reason the images we see are blurry is that most of these images are photos taken from the big screen in Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center. I think CNSA should release more original high definition images.

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