TECH China's lunar rover travels over 1,000 meters on far side of moon

TECH

China's lunar rover travels over 1,000 meters on far side of moon

Xinhua

08:15, January 08, 2022

BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Yutu-2, the lander and rover of the Chang'e-4 probe, has traveled 1,003.9 meters on the far side of the moon, as of midnight on Thursday, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration on Friday.

Photo taken by the rover Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2) on Jan. 11, 2019 shows the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe. (Photo: China National Space Administration)

Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, captured an obscure but intriguing image about 80 meters from its location during the mission's 36th lunar day.

Something cubic loomed on the horizon to the north, sitting next to a young impact crater, said the rover's log. The image sparked heated debates on social media platforms.

When Yutu-2 finally reached about 10 meters away from the mysterious object, the panorama camera on the rover took colored pictures of the object.

According to the pictures, researchers identified that the object might be a rock. Very coincidentally, it looks like a jade rabbit.

The Chang'e-4 probe, launched on Dec. 8, 2018, made the first-ever soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan. 3, 2019.

A lunar day is equal to 14 days on Earth, and a lunar night is the same length. Yutu-2 is currently in the mission's 38th lunar day and is in good condition.

It is expected to take a close look at the rock, and detect the large impact crater behind the rock during the next lunar day, the center said.

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