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2013-12-4 09:35

小艾摘要: China hailed the successful launch of a moon rover in the early hours of Monday, in a project that the government hopes will catapult its plans to put a man on the moon sometime after 2020 and explore ...
China hailed the successful launch of a moon rover in the early hours of Monday, in a project that the government hopes will catapult its plans to put a man on the moon sometime after 2020 and explore deeper regions of space.

Zhang Zhenrong, director of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province, declared the first phase of the Chang’e-3 lunar probe a success as the rocket carrying it entered its scheduled orbit, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

“We will strive for our space dream as part of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation,” Mr Zhang said, echoing the rhetoric used by China’s president, Xi Jinping, to mark the country’s emergence as a more confident and assertive actor on the global stage.

The launch of the rover, known as the Yutu or “Jade Rabbit”, has received blanket media coverage in the domestic media, in contrast to the strictly censored coverage of Beijing’s decision on November 23 to declare an “air defence identification zone” over the East China Sea.

The controversial ADIZ, which overlaps with Japan’s own air defence zone and covers a contested island chain administered by Tokyo, sparked heated diplomatic exchanges with China’s neighbours and the US. Joe Biden, US vice-president, arrives in Beijing on Tuesday in a visit that will focus on calming regional tensions.

The Jade Rabbit rover is expected to land on the moon in about two weeks’ time, after which it will beam geological data and astronomical observations back to earth.

If successful, the mission will make China only the third country to achieve a lunar “soft landing”. Such missions involve the safe landing and operation of exploration craft on the moon’s surface.

China is engaged in a 21st century Asian space race with another regional rival, India, which on Sunday said it had successfully propelled a Mars probe from earth’s orbit towards its distant target. The Mangalyaan spacecraft, which took off last month, is scheduled to reach the red planet in September.

Public reaction to the Jade Rabbit mission has been largely positive in China. But some people on Weibo, the country’s Twitter equivalent, expressed doubts about the wisdom of replicating what the US first did more than 40 years ago.

Others defended the strategy. “The development of our space program has been rather slow, but if we don’t do this first the gap between China and the US will become even bigger,” said Huang Hai, deputy dean at Beihang University’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “Mars is still too far a leap for us. It’s like learning how to walk before we try to run.”

“China’s space program will not stop at the moon,” added Sun Huixian, a senior Chinese space official. “Our target is deep space.”

Additional reporting by Wan Li




中国国内媒体对“玉兔”(Jade Rabbit)月球探测车发射升空进行了大量报道。这与受到严格审查的有关中国防空识别区的报道形成了鲜明对比——中国政府11月23日宣布在中国东海划设防空识别区。

中国有争议的防空识别区与日本自己的防空识别区部分重叠,并覆盖了现由日本政府管辖的有争议岛群,这引发了中国与邻国和美国之间一阵激烈的外交互动。周二,美国副总统乔?拜登(Joe Biden)抵达北京,他此行的目的是缓和亚太紧张态势。





而其他人则对这种战略进行了辩护。北京航空航天大学(Beihang University)宇航学院(School of Astronautics)副院长黄海表示,中国空间项目的进展迄今相当缓慢,不过如果中国不先完成这个任务,中国与美国的差距将进一步拉大。探测火星对目前的中国来说,步子仍嫌太大。这就像是没有学会跑之前,先要学会走。


Wan Li补充报道


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