TECH China's lunar lander, rover 'wake up' after first lunar night

TECH

China's lunar lander, rover 'wake up' after first lunar night

By Bao Han | People's Daily app

15:03, January 31, 2019

China's Chang'e-4 lander woke up to continue the mission by receiving sunlight at 8:39 pm on Wednesday, according to the China National Space Administration.

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(Photo via CCTV app)

Yutu-2 rover was also awakened at 8 pm on Tuesday.

The two devices were put to sleep two weeks ago due to the extremely low temperature on the far side of the lunar surface, which can reach a minimum of -190 degrees Celsius (-310 degrees Fahrenheit) at night.

Though long-time low temperature provided a severe survival environment, the two devices had safely withstood their first lunar night using a sustainable isotopic heating supply. They autonomously exited the "sleep mode" due to the change in the solar attitudinal angle.

The isotopic battery also provides power for  a collector to monitor the temperature changes at its measuring point during their breaks. It's the first detection data of lunar night temperature obtained by China's lunar exploration project.

With help from the Queqiao relay satellite, now the two devices are in stable operation and continue to transfer data to earth.

The two devices had successfully completed their mission during the first lunar day (approximately 28 earth days), including sending the first photo of the moon's far side. They will continue to explore as planned.

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