The far side of the moon has long been a tantalizing mystery. But China, a latecomer to the lunar landing game, could soon make history as the first country to touch its surface.
Just one day after being declared officially dead, Jade Rabbit has suddenly sprung back to life, transmitting a downlink signal to mission controllers back home on Earth. But while the rover may not be completely lost, it's still not clear if it's functional enough to continue the mission.
The Chinese National Space Administration has successfully launched its Chang'e-3 lunar probe to the moon. If all goes well from here, it'll be the first Chinese spacecraft to land on an extraterrestrial body — and the first rover to land on the moon in four decades.
The Yutu “Jade Rabbit” rover will lift off from China this coming Sunday as a part of the Chang’e-3 mission. It'll be the first soft landing on the Moon since Russia’s Luna-24 in 1976 — a drought of 37 years.