Chang'e-4: Chinese rover now exploring Moon

07 January, 2019, 11:44 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • China's Yutu 2 rover moving across the far side of the moon

A photo released by the agency showed the rover stopped at a point not far from where the Chang'e 4 spacecraft touched down Thursday.

Yutu 2 leaving track marks as it begins to explore the surface of the far side of the moon.

The CNSA said that Yutu is a symbol of kindness, purity, and agility, and is identical to the moon rover in both outlook and connotation.

"Although this was one small step for the rover, I think it is one big step for the Chinese people", he said in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV, echoing the famous quote by USA astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the Moon in 1969.

"It's just the far side, it can be either dark or light", Loeb said, depending on the time of day. Yutu 2 has already put a fair bit of space between itself and the lander, trundling over near the rim of a small crater on the floor of Von Kármán, which itself lies within an even larger impact feature - the 1,550-mile-wide (2,500 km) South Pole-Aitken Basin.

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The 'dark' side of the moon
The control center in Beijing will decide when to let the rover separate from the lander, state news agency Xinhua said. This is a remarkable trajectory considering it was only in 2003 that China sent its first astronaut into orbit.

Previous moon landings, including America's six manned missions from 1969 to 1972, have been on the near side of the moon, which faces Earth. China has been trying to catch up with the United States and other nations in space exploration.

What do you think of China's plans to expand further into space exploration?

Beijing is planning to send another lunar lander, Chang'e-5, later this year to collect samples and bring them back to Earth.

"As long as we keep it clean of radio interference, the far side of the moon is very good for radio astronomy", he said. It has a maximum speed of 200 metres (220 yards) per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or an obstacle up to 20 centimetres (8 inches) tall.

One of the challenges of exploring the far side of the moon is communication. The far side is popularly called the "dark side" because it can't be seen from Earth and is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.


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