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Finally, some high-quality photos from Chang'e 3!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 10, 2014 • 8

A pile of Chang'e 3 photos has been released to the Web, and they are much, much better than what I've seen before. They include, for the first time, photos of Earth from the lander.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner maps geologic context of Chang'e 3 landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • January 08, 2014 • 1

The LRO Diviner Lunar Radiometer has been mapping the entire Moon on a nearly continuous basis since July, 2009. The Diviner team has produced maps of the thermal behavior and and a range of derived quantities at Chang’e 3 landing site that are described in this post.

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2013 • 4

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

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.

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!

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