Chang'e-4: Chinese rover now exploring Moon

Rodiano Bonacci
Gennaio 7, 2019

The spacecraft landed at 0226 GMT on January 3 (9:26 p.m. EST on January 2) in the 110-mile-wide (180-kilometer) Von Karman crater, located in the southern hemisphere on the back side of the moon. Previous landings, including one by China's Chang'e 3 in 2013, have been on the near side. "We hope Yutu-2 can make its exploration with no fear and have a more stable, wide and long journey", said the CNSA in a statement.

While China is the first to land a spacecraft on the far side, there have been plenty of detailed photographs taken by orbiting spacecraft.

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

A Chinese space rover explored the lunar terrain on Friday in the world's first mission on the surface of the far side of the moon.

The Yutu 2 rover moving farther across the moon's surface.

Like its predecessor, Yutu-2, capable of enduring vacuum pressure, intense radiation, and extreme temperatures is equipped with four scientific payloads, including a panoramic camera, infrared imaging spectrometer and radar measurement devices, to obtain images of the moon's surface and detect lunar soil and structure. Both China's space community and public have taken pride in the accomplishment, with some drawing comparisons to the United States.

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.

Chang'e-4 is carrying six experiments from China and four from overseas, including low-frequency radio astronomical studies - aiming to take advantage of the lack of interference on the moons' far side. 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. The first human-made object to hit the far side was NASA's Ranger 4 craft in 1964; it crashed after a system failure.

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