Chang’e-3: China’s lunar probe carrying ‘Jade Rabbit’ moon buggy lifts off

In an attempt to carry out its first ever ‘soft landing’ on moon, China launched its lunar mission-Chang’e-3 which is carrying country’s first moon rover marking a major milestone for China’s space programme.

Soft Landing: A landing by a spacecraft on the moon or a planet at a sufficiently low velocity for the equipment or occupants to remain unharmed.

About Chang’e-3 lunar probe
  • China’s first lunar rover mission aimed at exploring the Moon’s surface and looking for natural resources such as rare metals.
  • Launching Site: Xichang Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China’s southwestern Sichuan province
  • Launched on: December 2, 2013
  • Carrier: Long March-3B
  • Key Payload: Six-wheeled robotic rover called Yutu (or Jade Rabbit) and a landing module.
  • Expected landing: In the Moon’s northern hemisphere in mid-December.

Note: If the lunar mission is successful, China will become the third country, after the United States and the former Soviet Union, to soft-land on the moon.

Month:  Categories: InternationalScience & Technology

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India among countries exempted from Iranian oil sanctions by the US

As stated by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, India is once again among a small list of countries that qualifies for an exemption from unilateral sanctions imposed by the US on countries importing oil from Iran.

Under Section 1245 of the U.S.’ 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), the exception granted to India, along with China, South Korea, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan, was based on India’s additional significant reductions in the volume of their purchases of Iranian crude oil.  It is the fourth time when India has qualified for a NDAA exception.

Though, a major breakthrough interim deal was struck during the recent talks between P5+1 and Iran on limiting Iran’s nuclear programme but the US has cautioned that this would not offer relief from sanctions with respect to any increases in Iranian crude oil purchases by existing customers or any purchases by new customers, and the sanctions will continue to be enforced over the next six months.

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