Landing module and lunar rover of the Chinese missionChang'e-4 was put into sleep mode due to the onset of their third moonlit night. According to the portal Space News, referring to the center of the lunar program of China, the 140-kilogram moonwalker "Yuytu-2" entered hibernation mode in the second half of this week, having overcome by that time 163 meters of the lunar surface of the Von Karman crater. Thus, since its landing on the surface of the back side of the satellite on January 3, the device has reached the limit of its expected service life of three months.
Previous moonwalker "Yuytu-1", sat in the craterThe Sea of Rains on the near side of the Moon during the “Chan-3” mission, sent to Earth satellite on December 3, 2013, was able to advance along the lunar surface of 114 meters. After that, the device was disabled - a short circuit in one of its computer circuits, which occurred on the second lunar day, left it immobilized. Nevertheless, the lunar rover continued its work in a stationary mode until mid-2016.
If by the time the third lunar night is overthe Yuuta-2 lunar rover systems will remain in working condition, the mission team plans to continue collecting scientific data on the satellite surface during the fourth lunar day. Chinese experts are very hopeful, because the device is in good condition.
Within the third day of activity on the surfacethe back of the Yuytu-2 satellite was able to cover a distance of 43 meters, continuing to move in the direction of the north-west from the landing site to the region, which was recently nicknamed the International Astronomical Union as "Statio Tianhe" ("Tianhe" in Chinese means " Milky Way ", and Statio in Latin -" base "). At the same time, from February 28 to March 3, the lunar rover covered only 7 meters of the lunar surface, since most of the time he was engaged in the analysis of a 20-centimeter sample of lunar soil, which he had noticed earlier. The object was studied using an infrared-optical spectrometer. It is noted that in the future it will allow scientists to establish the origin of the upper layer of the lunar surface.
From March 3rd to 10th, “Yuuta-2” was alsotransferred to temporary hibernation as a precautionary measure due to increased solar background radiation and the ambient temperature above the landing site - the 186-km Von Karman crater, which is part of the largest lunar crater South Pole Basin - Aitken.
The landing module "Chang'e-4" a few minutes beforethe transition of "Yuytu-2" to sleep mode was also transferred to hibernation. It is expected that both vehicles will be inactive for two weeks until March 28, while the third lunar night lasts for them.
During the first lunar night the landercollected and transmitted to Earth data on the temperature on the back of the satellite. It turned out that it drops to -190 degrees Celsius. To protect against extremely low temperatures, both devices stack their solar panels, and also include radioisotope generators that protect them from icing.
Because the far side of the moon neverturning towards the Earth, communication between the landing module, the Lunokhod and the ground control center is carried out with the help of the Queqiao satellite, which is located behind the Moon near the second Lagrange point L2.
Earlier this month, the satellite first heldAn NCLE antenna test (Netherlands-China Low-Frequency Explorer), designed to search for low-frequency radio emission from the early Universe. Also in March, it is planned to estimate the distance between the satellite and the ground observatory located in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. The lasers of the observatory will be directed toward Queuxiao, which will have to reflect the received signal with the help of a retroreflector system installed on it.
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