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Scottish First Minister hails China's soft-landing on Moon

2013-12-19 10:43 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond Wednesday hailed China's recent success in soft-landing a spacecraft on the Moon as "absolutely brilliant." [Special coverage]

"The pictures are great. I love the pictures." Salmond told Xinhua after a lecture by retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield to pupils from a high school in Edinburgh about his fascinating career, his walk in space and his experience at the International Space Station.

"China now is landing on the Moon and has a great space program, while Scotland has got a nano-satellite, a very small and cost-effective satellite, so we could have the beginning of a beautiful space friendship between Scotland and China." he added.

China has such efficient delivery vehicles, and in the future Scotland could use Chinese delivery vehicles to get the satellite into space, but a lot of experiments are still needed for the small satellite, which is interesting, according to the Scottish first minister.

As for technology cooperation, Salmond stressed the cooperation in the sector of energy, especially renewable energy involved with a range of technology.

Comprising a lander and a rover, Chang'e-3 lunar probe soft-landed on the Moon at 9:11 p.m. (1311 GMT) Saturday Beijing Time. The lunar rover Yutu later separated from the lander and rolled onto the Moon surface earlier Sunday.

The Chang'e-3 mission makes China the third country after former Soviet Union and the United States to put a spacecraft on lunar soil.

During his lecture, the 54-year-old Hadfield answered various questions from school pupils about his life in space with loss of gravity and the procedure of back to the earth.

As the first Canadian to walk in space and former commander of the International Space Station, Hadfield is on a book-signing tour in the United Kingdom for his book "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth."

Shortly after his returning to the earth in May 2013, Hadfield announced his retirement to end a 35-year career as a military pilot and an astronaut.

Chang'e-3 Moon Probe Launch

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