Chinese Change-4 probe withstands 500 Earth days on the far side of the moon

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US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The Chinese Change-4 probe survived 500 Earth days on the far side of the moon, conducting a scientific study of the virgin territory.

The descent vehicle and the rover of the Change-4 probe resumed work on the 18th lunar day on the opposite side of the moon after “sleeping” on an extremely cold night.

The lander woke up at 22:25 Moscow time, and the rover at 06:53 Moscow time on Saturday. Both are in normal operating condition, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA) Center for Lunar Research and Space Programs.

The Change-4 probe, launched on December 8, 2018, made the world‘s first soft landing in the Von Karman crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin at the far end of the moon on January 3, 2019.

Lunar day and moonlit night are approximately 14 Earth days. The Change-4 probe goes into sleep mode on a moonlit night due to a lack of solar energy.

The rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, drove 447.68 meters, and is now located at a distance of 292 meters from the lander. He conducted a scientific study of moonstones and lunar soil on his way, as well as some impact craters.

Scientists used the Lunar Penetrating Radar on Yutu-2 to study the geological structure of the moon to a depth of 40 meters, revealing secrets buried beneath the surface of the far side of the moon, enriching our understanding of the history of celestial collisions and volcanic activity, and also shed new light on the geological evolution of the moon.

Scientists also analyzed data from an infrared spectrometer on a Yutu-2 and discovered the composition of the material on the far side of the moon, making sure that the moon’s mantle is rich in olivine, which deepens our understanding of the formation and evolution of the moon.

China plans to launch its first Tianwen-1 Mars exploration mission in July 2020. In connection with the modification of ground communications, the lunar rover and the lander will spend the entire 18th lunar day on the spot, CNSA reports.

The scientific objectives of the Change-4 mission include conducting low-frequency radio astronomy observations, studying the terrain and its topography, determining the mineral composition and fine structure of the moon’s surface, and also measuring neutron radiation and neutral atoms.

The Change-4 mission embodies China’s hope to combine wisdom in space exploration with four payloads developed by the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.


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