Chinese rover powers up devices in pioneering moon mission

Mindy Sparks
January 7, 2019

"Congratulations to China's Chang'e-4 team for what appears to be a successful landing on the far side of the Moon", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter.

The Yutu-2 rover moves across the far side of the Moon.

This picture taken on December 8, 2018 shows a Long March 3B rocket, transporting the Chang'e-4 lunar rover, lifting off from the Xichang launch centre in Xichang in China's southwestern Sichuan province.

The record-breaking lander-rover is outfitted with a variety of instruments, including several cameras, spectrometers, a radar system and a dosimeter.

"It's just the far side, it can be either dark or light", Loeb said, depending on the time of day.

Harvard University astronomer Avi Loeb noted, however, that the relay satellite needed to send back information from the far side also contaminates the sky.

It represents the first ever such attempt and landing on the far side of the Moon, which has distinct characteristics to the near side we can see from Earth.

"The Chang'e-4, carrying eight payloads, will conduct low-frequency radio astronomical observation, survey the terrain and landforms, detect the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure and measure the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the Moon".

Yutu 2 (also called Jade Rabbit 2) rolled off a ramp connected to the lander and began making tracks on the moon's soft soil surface at 10.22 p.m. Beijing time, about 12 hours after Chang'e 4 landed. Despite the moniker, the dark side of the moon does receive sunlight.

The landing has been hailed as an important technical feat. China has been trying to catch up with the United States and other nations in space exploration.

Beijing is pouring billions into its military-run space program, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022, and of eventually sending humans to the moon.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article