The Chinese lunar rover of the “Chang'e-4” mission sent new images of the lunar surface

Landing module and lunar rover of the Chinese missionChang'e-4 is currently in hibernation mode, waiting for the end of the moonlit night that lasts for about two Earth weeks. Both devices are working on the satellite's surface for more than the stated service life, and before “falling asleep” once again, they transmitted to the Earth new images of the surface of the far side of the Moon, according to Planetary Society with reference to the China National Space Administration.

Having landed on January 3, 2019 to the bottomThe 186-kilometer crater Von Karman, which is located on the back (farthest from the Earth) side of the Moon, is closer to the South Pole of the satellite, the landing module, and also the Yuuta-2 lunar rover are studying the geological and chemical features and differences of the medium between the near and far sides of the satellite of our planet. Since the Moon is in tidal capture of the Earth (the period of the satellite’s orbit around its axis coincides with the period of its revolution around our planet), it is always facing the same side of our planet. At the same time, there are cycles of day and night on both sides of the Moon, which last a little more than 14 Earth days.

By now, the landing module and lunar roverWere able to survive 4 lunar days and 4 lunar nights. On April 12, both vehicles again plunged into hibernation, awaiting the onset of the fifth lunar day. Initially it was assumed that the devices will be able to work on the surface of the far side of the Moon for a maximum of three lunar days, so everything that goes on is quite a significant bonus for the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA). Nevertheless, it is noted that the mission team is confident in the ability of the lunar rover and the landing module will be able to and the fifth lunar night, meeting the 5th lunar day, which begins April 28.

According to the latest CNSA data, the Yuuta-2 lunar rover tonow covered the distance of 178.9 meters on the lunar surface. This distance exceeds the achievement of the first Chinese lunar rover Yuytu-1, which covered a distance of 114 meters, until it literally froze in February 2014, having worked only one lunar day.

During the fourth lunar day, "Yuuta-2" for the periodfrom March 29 to April 1, I drove only 8 meters across the lunar surface. After that, both devices “fell asleep” by daytime sleep until April 8 to protect their electronics from overheating from exposure to solar radiation. From April 8 to April 12, the moon rover “woke up”, covered another 8 meters of the lunar surface, after which it again went into hibernation with the onset of the fifth moon night.

As the Planetary Society site indicates, CNSA does notsays why Yuytu-2 covered so little of the lunar surface for the fourth day, however, Sun Zhezhou, the developer of the Chang'e-4 mission, at a conference at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Cosmonautics on April 11, noted that this was due to during the motion, the moon rover conducted a thorough study of the surrounding soil with the help of its imaging spectrometer operating in the visible and near infrared ranges (VNIS). The apparatus also performed similar tasks on the third lunar day.

Panorama of the lunar surface, obtained with the help of the Yuuta-2 moon rover camera. The red circle marks the sector of the VNIS spectrometer survey.

According to the latest official statementsRepresentatives of the China National Space Administration, all elements and spacecraft participating in the Chang'e-4 mission, including the Queqiao satellite transponder, located at Lagrange point L2 of the Earth-Moon system operate in nominal mode.

Footprints "Yuytu-2" on the surface of the far side of the moon

Unfortunately, in addition to these data, as wellseveral new images of the lunar surface obtained with the help of the Yuyuta-2 moon rover, for the moment, have nothing more to say. The real scientific data collected by spacecraft continue to flow to Earth, and we will be able to learn a more detailed report on the work of the Chinese landing module and lunar rover during a special conference devoted to the study of deep space. It is scheduled for July of this year.

You can discuss the news in our Telegram-chat.