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China's moon rover performs first lunar probe

Xinhua News Agency, January 15, 2014 Adjust font size:

China's moon rover "Yutu", or Jade Rabbit, completed its first scientific exploration of lunar soil on Tuesday, the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) said.

The rover used its mechanical arm to survey the lunar soil at 21:45 Beijing Time, following instructions from the control center, according to a BACC statement.

The exploration lasted about half an hour and every operation was precisely performed by the rover, it said.

"Accuracy control of the mechanical arm at a distance of 380,000 kilometers has been realized in the probe, making China's breakthrough in controlling a mechanical arm with high precision on the lunar surface," said Wu Fenglei of the BACC.

The rover completed an arm flexing assessment on December 23, a key test before beginning the soil survey and other work on the surface, said the center.

Yutu will survey the moon's geological structure and surface substances and look for natural resources for three months, while the lander will conduct in-situ exploration at the landing site for one year.

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