TECH
03/12/2013 10:32 GMT

Chinese Space Rocket Debris Falls To Earth And Wrecks Villagers' Houses

China's recent blast-off of it's first ever lunar landing mission may have marked a watershed in the country's galactic ambitions - but try telling that to villagers in Suining.

What appears to be debris from the 'Jade Rabbit' launch fell to Earth and wrecked a couple of houses.

A resident told the Xiaoxiang Morning Post: "Three of the roof beams have crashed down on our house, and a big hole has been punched into our barn."

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That's quite big

Another said: "The huge sound scared the living daylights out of me."

Authorities paid around £1,100 in compensation to those affected.

Worryingly this is not the first time it has happened. The county has been hit by debris nearly 20 times since the 1990s.

china space

The damage

The unmanned Chang'3 3 lander and the Yutu rover lifted off atop a Long March 3D rocket early on Monday morning, local time, from the Xichang launch centre in Sichuan province.

china space

Another bit

China aims to land the craft on the Moon by mid-December, becoming the first man-made object to safely land on our only natural satellite for 37 years. Using landing rockets the craft will hover about 100m from the surface, before picking a good landing spot using automated systems, and slowly descending.

The last craft to land on the Moon was the Luna 24 robot, sent by the Soviet Union in 1976.