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Launch Photos: China's Chang'e 3 Moon Rover Mission Blasts Off

China's Chang'e 3 Moon Mission Launches

CCTV

China's first-ever moon landing mission, called Chang'e 3, will include the first Chinese rover ever to set down on an extraterrestrial landscape. See images from the Chang'e 3/Yutu rover mission's launch here.

Here, a Chinese Long March 3B rocket launches China's first moon rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) on the Chang'e 3 lunar landing mission from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2, 2013 local time (Dec. 1 EST) in this still image from a CCTV broadcast. [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

China's Chang'e 3 Moon Rover Mission Profile

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

China's Chang'e 3 moon mission, the country's first flight to land a rover on the moon, is depicted in this graphic released by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The mission launched on Dec. 2, 2013 Beijing Time and arrived in lunar orbit less than five days later.

Chang'e 3 Launch View: Rocket Boosters

CCTV

This still image from a CCTV broadcast shows the view down from a Long March 3B rocket carrying China's Chang'e 3 moon lander and Yutu rover toward the moon on Dec. 2, 2013 local time (Dec. 1 EST). Two of the rocket's strap-on boosters are visible. [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

China's Chang'e 3 Spacecraft Separation

CCTV

China's Chang'e 3 spacecraft carrying the country's Yutu (Jade Rabbit) moon rover separates from its Long March 3B rocket in this still image from a CCTV broadcast after the successful launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2, 2013 local time (Dec. 1 EST). [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

China Launches Moon Rover Mission

CCTV

A Chinese Long March 3B rocket launches China's first moon rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) on the Chang'e 3 lunar landing mission from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2, 2013 local time (Dec. 1 EST) in this still image from a CCTV broadcast. [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

China's Chang'e 3 Moon Rover Mission: Ascent

CCTV

A Chinese Long March 3B rocket streaks toward space carrying China's first moon rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) on the Chang'e 3 lunar landing mission from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2, 2013 local time (Dec. 1 EST) in this still image from a CCTV broadcast. [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

China's Chang'e 3 Launch: Infrared

CCTV

This image shows an infrared view of China's Long March 3B rocket launch carrying the Chang'e 3 moon lander and Yutu rover toward the moon from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2, 2013 local time (Dec. 1 EST). [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

China Launches Chang'e 3 Moon Mission: Liftoff

CCTV

A Chinese Long March 3B rocket launches China's first moon rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) on the Chang'e 3 lunar landing mission from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2, 2013 local time (Dec. 1 EST) in this still image from a CCTV broadcast. [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

China's Yutu Moon Rover: Chang'e 3

China National Space Administration

An artist's illustration of China's Yutu (Jade Rabbit) moon rover on the lunar surface. The rover and a lander are part of China's Chang'e 3 mission to the moon's Bay of Rainbows. [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

Chang'e 3 Lunar Lander and Moon Rover

Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering

The Chang'e 3 lunar lander and moon rover is part of the second phase of China's three-step robotic lunar exploration program. [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

Chang'e 3's Lunar Descent

Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering

Chang’e 3 will power itself down onto the moon’s surface in a tricky maneuver. [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]

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