China Plans To Launch Lunar Rover Next Year [Xinhua]
China’s next lunar probe, set to launch in 2013, will carry a 100-kilogram rover to the Moon’s surface, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported March 5.
Unlike its two predecessors, the Chang’e 3 orbiter will have “legs” to support a lunar landing, according to mission chief Ye Peijian of the China Academy of Space Technology. It will carry the lunar rover and other instruments for “territory surveys, living conditions assessment, and space observations,” Ye said.
The rover, designed to operate for more than three months, will feature an advanced recognition and navigation system as well as solar wings that can extend to collect sunlight in the daytime and shield the equipment at night, Xinhua reported.