China names new moon rover "Yutu-2"

09 January, 2019, 12:07 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • China's Yutu 2 rover moving across the far side of the moon

China's Chang'e-4 probe has successfully landed on the far side of the moon.

Previous moon landings have only ever explored the side of the moon that faces the Earth, with the far side having only ever been seen from lunar orbits.

"We are pleased that the power equipment of the Chang'e-4 mission is supplied by radioisotope sources of electricity produced in Russian Federation", he said.

"The Chang'e-4 probe, comprised of a robotic lander and a rover, touched down at the preselected landing area at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south latitude on the far side of the Moon at 10:26 a.m. Beijing Time", Chang'e-4 team members said.

The six-wheeled rover, known as Yutu 2, isn't pausing to catch its breath, as a newly released photo shows.

China has chosen the name "Yutu-2", or Jade Rabbit-2, for its new moon rover, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced late Thursday.

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

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.

Lunar exploration chief Wu Weiren echoed Neil Armstrong's famous quote, telling state media the event marked a "huge stride" for China.

Chang'e 4 is carrying six experiments from China and four from overseas, including low-frequency radio astronomical studies, which aim to take advantage of the lack of interference on the far side.

China's space community is taking pride in the successful landing, which posed technical challenges because the moon blocks direct communication between the spacecraft and its controllers on Earth.

China is only the third country, alongside the US and Russian Federation, to send its own astronauts into space aboard its own rockets, and only the USA and China have the fiscal and technical wherewithal to mount significant long-term programs for exploring space. The other side, most of which can not be seen from Earth, is called the far side, or dark side, because most of it is uncharted.

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