China's Chang'e-3 Heads For The Moon

China's Chang'e-3 lunar rover Yutu ("Jade rabbit") left Earth today aboard a Long March IIIB rocket today. Liftoff occurred at 12:30 pm EST from Xichang launch facility in in China's Sichuan province.

Chang'e-3 will take approximately four days to reach the Moon and will enter orbit on or around 6 December. A week or so later Change'e-3's large landing stage will deliver the Yutu rover to a landing site in Sinus Iridum. The current expected landing date is 14 December.

The Yutu rover will operate on the lunar surface for several months while the landing stage will operate for up to a year.

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