Friday, December 13, 2013

Chinese to land on Moon on Dec. 16, 2013

Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly;,
Earth (Bhumi) with our satellite the Moon (Chandra) (
Earth's Moon, Chandra (

The Chinese are about to land a Jade Rabbit rover on the Moon. That means there will be more Buddhists in space -- beyond those otherworldly beings in "Space Station of the 33" (Trāyastriṃśa).

The Moon Rabbit
In folklore this rabbit lives on the Moon, based on appearances (pareidolia) that identifies markings on the Moon as a rabbit. The story exists in many cultures, particularly in East Asian folklore and Aztec mythology.

The Jade Rabbit pounding mortar and pestle
Some see the rabbit pounding a mortar and pestle. In Chinese folklore, the rabbit is often portrayed as the companion of the Moon Goddess Chang'e (Sanskrit Chandra), constantly pounding the elixir of life for her. But in Japanese and Korean versions, it is just pounding the ingredients for rice cake. More

China shoots Jade Rabbit rover to the Moon (, Dec. 6, 2013)
(NPR) This week China launched its Chang'e-3 lunar lander, with the Jade Rabbit moon rover on board. BBC science editor David Shukman, who got a behind-the-scenes glimpse of China's secretive space program during a recent trip there, talks about the motivations behind the country's moonshot.

IRA FLATOW (Science Friday host, NPR): ...On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were five days into their journey to the Moon. As he prepared for his historic landing, Buzz Aldrin received this advisory from Houston.
MAN (unidentified): Apollo 11, Houston, over. 
BUZZ ALDRIN: Houston, Apollo 11, go ahead. 
MAN: Among the large headlines concerning Apollo this morning is one asking that you watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl, called Chande, has been living there for 4,000 years. It seems she was banished to the Moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband.  You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree. The name of the rabbit is not reported. 
ALDRIN: Okay. We'll keep a close eye out for the bunny [and] girl. 
MAN: Roger. 
FLATOW: No word on whether Buzz ever found that bunny. We'll have to ask him next time we see him. But this week, 44 years later, China launched its own Jade Rabbit to the Moon to explore the Bay of Rainbows. The Jade Rabbit is a rover carried on the Chang'e-3 spacecraft, and it's scheduled to touch down on the lunar surface 10 days from [Dec. 6, 2013].... LISTEN

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