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Jade Rabbit takes one giant leap

China landed an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon yesterday, state media reported, the first such "soft landing" since 1976, joining the United States and the former Soviet Union in accomplishing such a feat.

The Chang'e 3 probe, named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, is carrying the solar-powered Yutu, or Jade Rabbit buggy, which will dig and conduct geological surveys.

In its most recent manned space mission in June, three astronauts spent 15 days in orbit.

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