Moon ~ Sinus Iridum Region
Image Courtesy NASA
Image of Sinus Iridum/Mare Imbrium taken by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. (LROC WAC color - 689 nm, 415 nm & 321 nm - overlain on WAC sunset BW image.) Chang'e 3 and Lunokhod 1 landing sites shown. Note the proximity of the Chang'e 3 landing site to a contact between red and blue maria. Image Courtesy NASA
Region Topographic Map
Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
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Sinus Iridum Region Available Lot Map
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China’s lunar probe Chang’e-3 is expected to land on Sinus Iridum (Bay of Rainbows) of the Moon in mid-December 2013. Credit: Xinhua
China’s Chang’e-3 Moon Rover Descends to Lower Orbit Sets Up Historic Soft Landing
Chang'e 3 is a lunar exploration mission operated by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), incorporating a robotic lander and China's first lunar rover. It was launched in December 2013 as part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program.
The spacecraft was named after Chang'e, the goddess of the Moon in Chinese mythology, and is a follow-up to the Chang'e 1 and Chang'e 2 lunar orbiters. The rover was named Yutu ( literally "Jade Rabbit") following an online poll, after the mythological rabbit that lives on the Moon as a pet of the Moon goddess.
Chang'e 3 achieved lunar orbit on 6 December 2013 and landed on 14 December 2013, becoming the first probe to soft-land on the Moon since Luna 24 in 1976.
Chang'e 3, China's first Moon lander, imaged by the Yutu rover.
Courtesy China National Space Administration / China Central Television
Inset from full-sized context map (HERE) shows the rich detail of the vicinity of Laplace A, the largest crater in the "mouth" of Sinus Iridium, south of Promontorium Laplace (upper right). LROC Wide Angle Camera (WAC) 100 meter/pixel monochrome global mosaic, overlayed by WAC color Digital Terrain Model (500 m/p). The blue long box over Laplace A corresponds to the footprint of the right-hand frame of LROC NAC M129466485 from which the LROC Featured Image above was derived [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].
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