Rover powers up devices in pioneering moon mission

Rodiano Bonacci
Gennaio 10, 2019

China has become the world's first country to make a spacecraft land on the far side of Earth's natural satellite, Moon on January 5.

Image of the Yutu-2 rover disembarking from the Chang'e-4 mission's lander. The rover, which was seen in early photos having just taken its first strides on the Moon, is shown moving farther away from the lander's camera. It's a self-contained ecosystem, and scientists want to see what might happen to it over time.

Artist's impression of the Chang'e-4 lander on the lunar surface.

Yutu-2 operates in a odd magnetic environment courtesy of its landing site, the South Pole-Aitken basin. The Aitken basin is regarded to have formed during a massive collision in the earliest history of the moon. In recent years, China has indicated that it may be working with the European Space Agency to create this outpost, which the ESA has described as an "international Moon village" that will be the spiritual successor to the ISS. The moon's dark side remains largely unexplored because its position shields it from radio frequencies, preventing direct with the Earth.

The South Pole of the Moon is the area where all the future commercial and science sites are likely to be.

The relay satellite will also be used for scientific and technological experiments.

Even if the experiments with the satellite prove that we can not feasibly conduct radio astronomy on the far side of the Moon, the mission is certain to yield valuable scientific information. Since it was not directed toward the Earth, the probe could not transmit its signals to the Earth because the radio waves were blocked by the Moon's rocky mass. "This will negate the key advantage of the far side for radio astronomy, being free of radio interference from Earth".

All systems are go as a Chinese spacecraft and rover power up their observation equipment after making a first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, the Chinese National Space Administration said.

The pioneering landing highlights China's ambitions to rival the U.S., Russian Federation and Europe in space.

China landed a probe on the far facet of the moon on Thursday with remarkably little fanfare, but the feat is one big leap for a nation that's always been considered an additionally-ran within the area race.

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