February 2, 2016 5:50 pm

China releases hundreds of moon images to public

Tracks of the China National Space Administration's Yutu rover cross the surface of the moon.

China National Space Administration
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We’ve seen plenty of photos from the surface of the moon from the days of Apollo, but now China is providing us with new images from its lunar rover.

The China National Space Administration released hundreds of never-before-seen images taken by its rover Yutu or “Jade Rabbit” from its Chang’e-3 mission to the moon.

The Chang’e-3 as seen from Yutu

China National Space Administration

The images were released on The Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration and provide panoramas taken by the Chang’e-3 lander which reached the lunar surface on Dec. 14, 2013. There are also images of Yutu and the lander as well as images of the moon’s rocky and dusty surface.

The images were taken between 2013 and 2015 by the lander and the rover. Unfortunately, due to mechanical issues, Yutu is no longer able to move around the surface. However, it has provided valuable scientific data.

Yutu as seen from the Chinese lander Chang’e-3.

China National Space Administration

Only three countries have landed on the moon: the United States, Russia and China. The last probe to land on the surface of the moon was the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976.

The lunar surface taken from Yutu.

China National Space Administration

China has a very active space program, which includes the space station Tiangong-1 and its Shenzou program.

It has plans to launch another manned mission, Shenzou 11 as well as Tiangong-2 later this year.

The rocky landscape seen by the Chinese rover Yutu

China National Space Administration

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