China’s first lunar probe on Sunday successfully separated from the lander and left deep trace on its loose soil, hours after the communist giant carried out the world’s first soft landing on the lunar surface in nearly 40 years.

“China’s first moon rover, Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, separated from the lander early on Sunday. The 140 kg six—wheeled rover touched the lunar surface at 4:35 a.m., leaving deep trace on the loose lunar soil,” state—run Xinhua news agency reported.

The process was recorded by the camera on the lander and the images were sent to the earth. After the separation, the rover and lander took photos of each other and started their own scientific explorations, the report said.

At about 11:42 pm Beijing Time, the six—wheeled moon rover moved to a spot about 9 metres to the north of the lander and the photographing began, it said.

Yutu will survey the moon’s geological structure and surface substances and look for natural resources for three months, while the lander will conduct in—situ exploration at the landing site for one year.

China’s first lunar rover yesterday successfully landed on the moon, making the communist giant one of three world powers to make a soft landing as part of an ambitious programme that aims to put a Chinese astronaut on the moon.

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