Welcome to "On this day … in space! ", where we look in our archives for historical moments in space travel and in astronomy. Take a look back at the past with Space.com's Hanneke Weitering and see what happened in space that day!
On December 1, 2013, China launched its first mission to land a rover on the moon. With the Yutu rover aboard, the Chang & # 39; e 3-lunar lander took off with a modified Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
The mission was named after the Chang & # 39; e, the Chinese goddess of the moon, mythology. The Rover Yutu was named after the Jade Rabbit, who was a companion of the Moon Goddess.
Chang & # 39; e arrived in the lunar orbit five days after launch and landed on the lunar surface a week later. It was the first spacecraft to land gently on the moon for 37 years. A few hours later, the small six-wheeled vehicle disembarked from the spacecraft and became the first robot racing on the moon since 1
Photos start: China's Chang'e 3 mission "Mondrover mission"
Chang & # 39; s e 3 Photos: China's 1st Lunar Landing and Rover Mission
Here's how China's Chang & # 39; s e 3-moon rover Yutu works
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