Apollo 11 jokingly ordered to watch for Chang'e

Source:ecns.cn Published: 2013-12-2 14:36:18

China has named its first moon rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit), stirring interest in a conversation that took place in 1969 between US spacecraft Apollo 11 and its control center in Houston.

As the Apollo 11 prepared to land on the Moon July 20, 1969, Ronald Evans, who worked at the control center, told the astronauts aboard to "watch for a lovely lady with a big rabbit," according to the flight journals of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

He also talked about the Chinese legend of the Moon, "An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-e has been living there for 4,000 years. It seems she was banished to the Moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband. You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree."

Michael Collins, one of the astronauts on Apollo 11, answered: "Okay. We'll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl."

Emily Lakdawalla, a US planetary scientist, mentioned the above anecdote in her article published in Planet Science on Wednesday.

Mark Robinson, a researcher at Arizona University, said he look forward to China's moon landing.

China's Yutu is part of the Chang'e-3 lunar probe, which is expected to be launched in early December. The mission is the second phase of China's lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth.

Chang'e is the Chinese moon goddess. China's first unmanned missions to the moon are named in honor of her.

Apollo 11 is the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon.

Posted in: Air & Space

blog comments powered by Disqus