China seeks science innovations after lunar probe success

Beijing, Jan 6 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping Monday stressed on innovations in science and technology to support the country’s productivity and national strength.

“Dare to walk the unwalked paths, constantly seek excellence through solving difficulties, and accelerate the shift to innovation-fuelled development,” Xi said while meeting space scientists and engineers who participated in the research and development of the Chang’e-3 mission.
He also urged that science and technology innovation be put in a “core position” in the country’s overall development, Xinhua reported.
The Chang’e-3 lunar probe, composed of a lander and China’s first moon rover, named “Yutu”, soft-landed on the moon Dec 14, making China the third country to carry out such a mission after the US and Russia.
Yutu separated from the lander hours later and the two photographed each other Dec 15.
The Chang’e-3 mission marked the completion of the second phase of China’s lunar programme, which consists of orbiting, landing and returning to Earth.
On behalf of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission, Xi congratulated the space scientists and engineers on the success of the lunar probe mission and extended his New Year’s greetings.
Describing innovation as “the soul of a people and the source for a country’s prosperity,” Xi said the Chang’e-3 mission was “‘China-made’ in every sense of the phrase” and the result of independent innovation.
Xi said the success of the mission marked a new milestone for the country’s space undertaking and also scaled a new height in climbing the science and technology mountain.