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Saturday 30 August 2014

China ‘soft-lands’ spacecraft on Moon

Published 15/12/2013 | 00:23

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A photograph taken on a giant screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing shows an animated image of the Chang'e-3 lunar probe descending onto the surface of the moon
A photograph taken on a giant screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing shows an animated image of the Chang'e-3 lunar probe descending onto the surface of the moon

CHINA became the first country to “soft-land” a spacecraft on the Moon in nearly 40 years yesterday, taking the nation a step closer to putting a man on the lunar surface.

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The unmanned Chang'e-3 craft began a controlled descent towards an area known as the Bay of Rainbows at around 9pm Beijing time (1pm GMT) and landed about 11 minutes later, according to the Chinese.

China, India and the US have fired or crash-landed probes on the lunar surface in recent years, but this was the first soft — or controlled — landing since 1976, when the former Soviet Union's Luna-24 landed there.

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