China’s lunar rover Yutu 2 (Jade Rabbit 2) has driven 367.25 meters on the far side of the moon to conduct scientific exploration.
Both the lander and the rover of the Chang’e 4 probe ended their work for the 14th lunar day on Saturday (Beijing Time), and switched to dormant mode for the lunar night, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.
During the 14th lunar day, Yutu 2 continued to move along the planned route. The scientific instruments on the lander and rover worked as planned.
The neutron radiation detector and low-frequency radio spectrometer on the lander worked normally and acquired first-hand scientific data. On the rover, the near-infrared spectrometer, panoramic camera, neutral atom detector and lunar radar carried out scientific exploration as planned.
China’s Chang’e 4 probe, launched on Dec 8, 2018, made the first-ever soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3, 2019.
The rover Yutu 2 has worked much longer than its three-month design life, becoming the longest-working lunar rover on the moon.
A lunar day equals 14 days on Earth, and a lunar night is the same length. The Chang’e 4 probe switched to dormant mode during the lunar night due to the lack of solar power.
China plans to launch the Chang’e 5 probe in 2020 to bring lunar samples back to Earth.
The Chang’e 5 probe includes a lander, an orbiter, an ascender and a returner. The key tasks of the mission will be lunar sample collection, takeoff from the moon, rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit and high-speed reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.