Beijing, Jul 27 : The Chinese moon mission that includes the lander Chang'e-4 and rover Yutu 2 (Jade Rabbit 2) awoke to begin their eighth month of work on the far side of the Moon, China National Space Administration (CNSA) said on Saturday.
The mission has been dormant since July 9 for a lunar night that lasts approximately two weeks on Earth. "The Chang'e-4 lander has successfully awoke from the dormant mode on Friday, 1112 hrs (GMT) and began the eighth month of work on the Moon. The payloads on board, including radiation and neutron dosimeters and a low-frequency radio spectrograph, will turn on sequentially, and the research will be conducted as scheduled," the statement read.
According to the statement, the Yutu 2 lunar rover awoke slightly earlier and its payload will restart shortly in order to carry out the planned work. It is equipped with a high-resolution camera that transmits unique pictures of the Moon's dark side. As of today, the rover has traveled more than 210 meters (689 feet), the statement added.
China launched its first lunar satellite, Chang’e, in October 2007. It worked in the lunar orbit for 16 months and successfully landed on the Moon in March 2009. Chang’e collected data which the Chinese scientists used to create the first heat map of the Moon.
Chang’e-2 lunar satellite was launched in October 2010 to take and transmit high-resolution images of the Moon surface on the far side. After that, the satellite flew by the asteroid named Toutatis and took pictures of it as well.
In 2013, China's Chang’e-3 delivered the Yutu rover to the Moon. It carried out a study of the lunar surface for 31 months, 19 months longer than initially planned. The rover managed to complete numerous complex missions, including taking the first ever pictures of the Moon's geological layers. The mission was retired on August 3, 2016.
The Chang’e-4 lunar rover, launched on December 7, 2018, landed on the Von Karman Crater located in the southern hemisphere on the far side of the Moon on January 3, 2019. The Yutu-2 rover discovered two types of lunar mantle material on the far side of the Moon. Further measurements and experiments that Chinese scientists plan to conduct with the help of the lunar rover will help verify other theories describing the formation of the Moon and understand which of them is closest to reality.
In China's plans is to deliver lunar soil to Earth on Chang’e-5 and Chang’e-6 and then begin preparations for a manned flight to the Moon and construction of the first lunar station there. Chang’e-7 will conduct a general study of the Moon’s south pole, including terrain and landforms, while Chang’e-8 is expected to test several key technologies on the lunar surface. In April 2019, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) head, Zhang Kejian, announced that China plans to build research station on the lunar south pole and carry out a lunar manned mission within the next 10 years. (UNI)