Dec. 14 - An unmanned Chinese spacecraft, carrying a buggy, successfully lands on the moon, Chinese state media reports. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A Chinese spacecraft landed successfully on the moon on Saturday (December 14), state media reported, in the first such "soft-landing" since 1976, joining the United States and the former Soviet Union in managing to accomplish such a feat. China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast images of the Chang'e-3 probe's location and a computer generated image of the probe on the surface of the moon. The Chang'e-3, a probe named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, is carrying the solar-powered Yutu, or Jade Rabbit buggy, which will dig and conduct geological surveys. China has been increasingly ambitious in developing its space programmes, for military, commercial and scientific purposes. The official Xinhua news service reported that the spacecraft had touched down in the Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, at 9:12 p.m. local time (1312 GMT) after hovering over the surface for several minutes seeking an appropriate place to land.