Chinese space agency releases best images ever taken of the Moon’s surface

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Chinese Academy of Sciences / China National Space Administration / The Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration / Emily Lakdawalla

More than two years after China’s lunar rover got away to a wonky start on the surface of the moon, the country’s National Space Administration has has made its library of high-resolution images of the moon available to the public for the first time. Hundreds of images released this week show the incredibly uneventful, yet spectacular, lunar surface in detail and are some of the best pictures of the moon available.

On December 14, 2013, Yutu, or “Jade Rabbit” became the third unmanned spacecraft to land on the moon. But within a month, the rover started having some problems preparing for the lunar nights, and was losing its precious solar power supplies.

It stopped moving on January 25, 42 days into a three-month mission.While the CNSA website is difficult to navigate – not to mention entirely in Chinese – the US Planetary Society has reposted the images from both Yutu and Chang’e 3 in accessible formats.

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Chinese Academy of Sciences / China National Space Administration / The Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration / Emily Lakdawalla

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Chinese Academy of Sciences / China National Space Administration / The Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration / Emily Lakdawalla

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Chinese Academy of Sciences / China National Space Administration / The Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration / Emily Lakdawalla