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Ten candidate names for China's first moon rover after global poll

Updated: 2013-10-27 11:36
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Ten possible names for China's first moon rover, likely to be launched in December, have come out after a month-long online poll and debate of a jury board.

"Yutu," or jade hare in Chinese, tops the list while "Tansuo," or explore, and "Lanyue," or catch moon, came at the second and third places, said Sunday's Beijing Times.

Chinese at home and abroad were wooed to submit proposals for the name of the lunar rover at and from Sept 25 to Oct 25.

About 190,000 proposals were received and a 14-member jury board selected the ten most popular after heated debates and several rounds of vote on Saturday, said the newspaper report.

Yutu is a white pet rabbit accompanying the goddess Chang'e on the moon in a popular ancient Chinese myth.

In the next week, another online poll will elect the three most popular names and the final result will be announced in November.

The moon rover is scheduled to be on board of the Chang'e-3 moon probe, which will soft-land on the moon.

The rover has two wings, stands on six wheels, weighs 140 kg and will be powered by solar energy.

In an interview last month, Zhao Xiaojin, director of the aerospace department of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, depicted the lunar rover an orbiter adaptable to harsh environments; a highly efficient and integrated robot; and a high altitude "patrolman" carrying the dreams of Asia.

"When it arrives in lunar orbit on board a lander, the rover will choose the best landing site and gently touch down the moon's surface, using optical and microwave sensors to avoid rocks and craters," Zhao said.

The Chang'e-3 moon probe is part of the second stage of China's three-stage lunar mission, orbiting, landing, and analyzing lunar soil and stone samples.