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China Daily Website

Designer: moon rover uses cutting-edge technology

Updated: 2013-11-29 10:41
( Xinhua)

China's third lunar probe, the Chang'E Three is set to launch in early December.

In recent years, China has made considerable progress in its space program. In June, three Chinese astronauts spent 15 days in orbit. And this time the country will send a rover to the moon.

A monumental project like the Chang'E Three requires time, money, and people. Jia Yang, the deputy chief designer of China's first lunar Rover, says the moon rover marks another breakthrough for China's space exploration. Han Bin reports.


Noting can hide Jia Yang's pride.

He's the deputy chief designer of China's first lunar rover, named the "Jade Rabbit". He's been working on it for some ten years.

The moon rover is China's most advanced robot with complete automatic navigation and operation. For Jia Yang, China's third lunar probe is a great leap forward in space exploration.

"China started four decades late in the lunar project, yet the rover design is not a simple copy of advanced nations. It combines an integration of modern technologies of electronics, machinery, and thermal control," Jia says.

The dream of flying to the moon has deep roots in Chinese culture. According to legend, the fairy Chang'E drank a magic potion that gave her the ability to fly there. The dream has already come true for US and Russian astronauts. But it might take China at least another decade.

China has a moon rock at the Beijing Planetarium, a gift from former US President Jimmy Carter. The Chang'E lunar project is also aimed at bringing back materials from the moon in the future.

"China's lunar project will help accumulate experience and technology, which will be crucial for future projects. Making a soft landing and moon rover is a practical step for the long journey of China's space exploration," Jia says.

This is just a mini model of the rover. If all goes well, Jia Yang and the world will see the real rover on the moon, from the pictures taken and sent back from the Lander.

Jia Yang's dream is to see the "Jade Rabbit" running on the moon. He also believes the country will go beyond the moon, to Mars and other celestial bodies.

This mission shows China's resolve to bridge the gap with other space going nations. The Chang’e-3 is just one more example of the country's increasing technological capabilities. For scientists, like Jia Yang, the next part of the space dream could be clear, sending astronauts to the moon.