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China prepares launch of its first lunar lander
Posted: Wed, Nov 27, 2013, 6:59 AM ET (1159 GMT)
Yutu Chinese lunar rover model (Xinhua) Chinese officials said they are set to launch that country's first lunar lander and rover, perhaps as soon as this weekend. Officials announced on Tuesday that the rover that the Chang'e-3 spacecraft will carry to the Moon will be called "Yutu", or Jade Rabbit, the winner of an online poll. Chang'e-3 is expected to land in the Sinus Iridum region of the Moon in mid-December and deploy the Yutu rover. China has not given a launch date for the mission beyond early December, but some reports indicate that the mission could launch as soon as Sunday, December 1. The mission would be China's third to the Moon, after the Chang'e-1 and -2 orbiters launched in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
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