Chinese rover powers up on moon mission

Chinese rover powers up on moon mission

Chinese rover powers up on moon mission

While past missions have been to the Earth-facing side, this is the first time ever a spacecraft has landed on the unexplored far side of the moon.

China on Thursday landed its Chang'e 4 spacecraft on the moon's far side - also known, mistakenly, as the "dark side" - which no nation had done before.

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.

China's lunar rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, has left the first "footprint" from a man-made spacecraft on the far side of the Moon.

New photos from China's space agency show its lunar rover leaving tracks on the far side of the moon, at the start of a historic exploration mission. Yutu-2 will enter a "napping" mode at an appropriate time and is expected to resume moving next Thursday.

These allegations have come up after recent analysis of pictures taken from the Chinese Chang'e-4 probe allegedly found no traces of the American Moon landings existing on the Moon.

A Chinese lunar rover has driven on the far side of the moon, the national space agency announced on Friday, hailing the development as a "big step for the Chinese people".

Every semester, Purdue University lunar and planetary scientist Jay Melosh demonstrates how the far side gets light using a bright light as the sun and students playing the roles of the moon and the Earth. "China has already positioned itself at least as good as Russian Federation and the European Union".

In May, a relay satellite "Queqiao", or "Magpie Bridge", named after an ancient Chinese folk tale, was launched to provide communications support between Chang'e 4 and Earth.

The Yutu-2 rover has six wheels that all have power, so it can continue to operate even if one wheel fails. 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. It has a maximum speed of 200 metres per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or an obstacle up to 20cm tall.

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