It is the first "soft landing" of a probe there for 37 years and
Scientists burst into applause as a computer generated image representing the Chang'e 3 spacecraft carrying the solar-powered buggy was seen touching down on the moon's surface via screens in
It reportedly came down in the Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, after hovering over the surface for several minutes seeking an appropriate place to land.
A soft landing does not damage the craft and the equipment it takes.
The rover is expected to separate from the lander and then carry out a three-month scientific exploration of the surface, in which it will look for natural resources.
The vehicle will be remotely controlled by Chinese control centres with support from tracking and transmission stations operated by the
It was launched into space onboard a rocket on
The name Jade Rabbit or "Yutu" was chosen in an online poll of 3.4 million voters indicating just how important this mission is to the Chinese public.
It is the next step in
As well as space enthusiasts, many private space companies were expected to watch the landing closely.
Teams taking part in the Google Lunar XPRIZE are competing for
"It is actually quite difficult to land successfully on another planetary body so I think there is definitely a sympathy with the tension that is probably quite high in that control room."
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