For more than 40 years the Historic Documents series has made primary source research easy by presenting full primary documents and excerpts from documents on the important events of each year for the United States and the world. Each volume includes approximately 70 events with well over 100 documents from the previous year, from official or other influential reports and surveys, to speeches from leaders and opinion makers, to court cases, legislation, testimony, and much more.

Historic Documents is renowned for the well-written and informative background, history, and context it provides for each document. Each volume begins with an insightful essay that sets the year's events in context, and each document or group of documents is preceded by a comprehensive introduction that provides background information on the event. Full-source citations are provided. Readers have easy access to material through a detailed, thematic table of contents and a cumulative five-year index that directs them to related material in earlier volumes.

China Successfully Lands Spacecraft on the Moon: December 13, 2013

China Successfully Lands Spacecraft on the Moon: December 13, 2013

China successfully lands spacecraft on the moon: December 13, 2013

On December 14, 2013, China became the third country to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon when its Chang'e 3 probe and Yutu rover touched down on the lunar surface. This achievement marked the second phase of China's lunar program and another step forward in the country's rapid advancement of its broader program of space exploration, which has lagged behind the United States and Russia for decades. The Chang'e 3 mission continued to lay the groundwork for future lunar missions, which have as their ultimate goal the construction of a moon base, and demonstrated the further evolution of China's technological and scientific capabilities.

Military Beginnings

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