Constellation Program
China's moon mission captivates scientists
China's moon mission captivates scientists

BEIJING — When China landed its first lunar rover on the moon last month, many Americans reacted with a shrug. After all, the U.S. sent men to the moon more than 40 years ago, and the Soviets landed a rover there too. But among lunar scientists, the Chang'e 3 mission has generated considerable interest. They say the lander and the rover, equipped with ground-penetrating radar, cameras, a telescope and spectroscopic instruments, could gather significant new information, especially relating to the chemical composition and depth of the lunar soil. Such data, they say, could shed light on the history of the moon and, by extension, Earth. It could also help humans design...