China lands robot on Moon in landmark mission

China has successfully carried out the world's first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades.

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Moon rover to be controlled by European Space Agency

China successfully carried out its soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades, state media said.

Saturday's successful mission is the latest stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon.

The rover will be remotely controlled by Chinese control centres with support from a network of tracking and transmission stations around the world operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The probe and the rover are expected to photograph each other on Sunday.

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China successfully soft lands on moon for first time

A Chinese spacecraft landed successfully on the moon today, 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.

A photograph taken on a giant screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing Credit: Reuters

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.

Beijing Aerospace Control Center staff clap as moon rover lands. Credit: APTN
Staff at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center congratulate each other on mission. Credit: APTN