Chinese Moon Rover Replicas Ready To Roll Off Store Shelves

In celebration of China's successful landing of the Jade Rabbit moon rover, scale model replicas of “Yutu” in zinc alloy and silver have been made available for sale to the public. The actual rover weighs approximately 260 lbs (about 120 kg), is powered by twin solar panel “wings” during lunar days and uses heat emitted by an onboard radioisotope heating unit (RHU) to get through frigid lunar nights. The replicas are un-powered and are meant to be displayed only.

Two versions of the rover replica have been made: a lower-priced model made of zinc alloy and a more expensive collector's edition made of silver. To ensure accuracy, the manufacture of both replicas was supervised by the National Defense Science, Technology and Industry's cultural exchange association.

The models are mounted on a circular metal base designed to imitate the moon's cratered surface. To protect the replica, a transparent dome fits over the diorama-like display.

As these moon rover replicas are sponsored by China's government, you won't find them for sale on Taobao or at a Chinese Walmart. Instead, they're on display at the Beijing Air/Space Museum with nary a price tag in sight... though Ivan Watson of CNN stated they're “pricey” when he tweeted an image (above) of the replicas at the museum.

Museum visitors hoping to walk away with their own miniature Jade Rabbit had best bring plenty of yuan or a couple of Bitcoins. (via People's Daily, Straits Times/Reuters, and Inagist)

Editor's Note: Not nearly as detailed, you can get this cool moon rover toy for cheap.

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