China Landed on the moon and snapped the best-ever images of the lunar surface

China is really serious when it comes to space. In fact, in the last couple of years, China has made a huge leap forward towards space exploration. Just check out these jaw-dropping images of the lunar surface, and you’ll see why. 

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One of the best examples of China’s space program development is their Lunar Exploration Program—also known as the Chang’e program— an ongoing series of robotic Moon missions by the China National Space Administration (CNSA). The program incorporates lunar orbiters, landers, rovers and sample return spacecraft, launched using Long March rockets.

The Change’3 specifically was launched in December 2013 as part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program.

According to reports, the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program has been categorized into three main operational phases:

Named after the Goddess of the Moon in Chinese Mythology, the spacecraft incorporated a rover dubbed Yutu which successfully made its way to the lunar surface snapping the most amazing images of the lunar surface you’ve ever seen.

Chang’e 3 arrived into lunar orbit on December 6, 2013, and landed 8 days later on December 14, 2013, making history as the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon since the Soviet Union‘s Luna 24 in 1976.

The images snapped by the Chinese lunar exploration vehicles are more than just beautiful. They are a set of never-before-seen images that show the lunar surface in great detail.

As noted by the GBTimes, China’s Chang’e-3 has demonstrated the techniques and capabilities for soft-landing and long-term operation on the Moon, extreme environmental adaptability with lunar nights and days seeing temperatures ranging from -180 to +100 degrees Celsius).

China has great plans for the moon it seems

China it seems went all in when it comes to space exploration. In fact, they are currently developing a 10-year strategy which encompasses both lunar and planetary exploration. China wants to send landers to the Moon’s poles and even potential human landings on the lunar surface.

Their next big step is the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission due to launch in 2017 and a never-before-seen landing on the far side of the moon in late 2018.

The far side of the Moon—commonly and erroneously called the ‘Dark side of the Moon’—is not visible from Earth because of gravitational locking. The far side of the moon had never been observed until the Soviet Luna 3 probe sent the first images ever in 1959.

The Chang’e-5 mission will be the first lunar sample return in over 40 years, since Luna 24 by the USSR in 1976, and will make China only the third country to return samples from the lunar surface.

Here be bring you some of the most fascinating, breathtaking, stunning, incredible, awesome images snapped by the Chang’e-3 mission.

Enjoy and thank Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society.

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China Moon Landing rock on the surface

Moon tracks Change 3

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Image Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences / China National Space Administration / The Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration

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  1. This colored, rocky and textured surface is more likely to be real than the sandy grey lunar landmark (Hollywood produced) that NASA showed us with the Apollo Missions, was grey even in the color pictures #FakeApolloLanding :-p

    1. I see the same pictures you do….they look “sandy grey lunar” to me.
      Exactly what colors are you talking about?
      You gotta remember NASA pictures were taken in the 60’s and 70’s when DPI was probably way less than 120…and astoundingly analog using the RGB method of reproducing color.
      Pretty sure China is using digital, a highly more pronounced ability of reproducing color at a higher resolution.
      Believe what you want, but I believe you should shove that #FakeApolloLanding where the moon don’t shine if all you base it on are the comparisons of pictures divided by 50 years of technology!!
      Oh and BTW :-p back atcha.

  2. I dont think the chinese, the united states or anyone else has landed on the moon!!!

  3. amazing images. i dont doubt that robotic missions have happened. but manned mission? i watched it live in 69. we didnt have good satelite tv yet, but we saw the first steps live? though, it does seem technologically advanced for the 60s. the lunar system had less computing power than a modern car. i hope we did, but why dont we go back? imagine that as a joint usa/russia/china do a group mission using a computer driven autonomous craft so 3 astronauts can go, and all 3 land on the moon why doesnt resident rump use some money to develop a joint mission? kennedy planned it, but nixons name is on the plaque on the moon. if we went, we should go back to remove his name

  4. Just one, I’d like to see a “moon photo” where the horizon wasn’t 20 feet away. Can’t they go to the crest of the hill and take a picture?

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