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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

5 Most Amazing Spaceflight Feats of 2013

• http://www.space.com, by Elizabeth Howell
 Also this year, Virgin Galactic and other private spaceflight companies made strides in their work to make space tourist flights a reality, while one Canadian astronaut became a social media mega-star by showing what life is truly like in space.

 
Here's a look at five of the most amazing spaceflight feats of 2013:
 
1) China rover lands on the moon

When China's Chang'3 spacecraft landed on the moon on Dec. 14, it marked the first soft lunar landing in 37 years and the country's first-ever successful touchdown on an extraterrestrial surface. Chang'e 3 also delivered the rover Yutu ("Jade Rabbit") to the lunar surface for a three-month exploration mission.

China is the third country to achieve a soft landing on the moon after Russian and the United States, Chang'e 3 beamed live views of its landing on the moon's Sinus Iridium (Bay of Rainbows), as well as the Chinese flag on Yutu — a symbol of how far China's space program has come in a short while. Chang'e 3 is China's third moon mission, following two orbiter flights, and is expected to spend a year studying the lunar surface. It is named after the legendary Chinese moon goddess Chang'e, with Yutu named after her mythical pet rabbit. [See photos from China's Chang'e 3 moon rover mission]
 

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