Image of China’s Yutu-2 lunar rover taken by Chang’e-4 lander.
Credit: CNSA/CLEP

According to the China National Space Administration, the country’s lunar rover — Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2 — has woken up from its third lunar night on the farside of the Moon and resumed its scientific exploration mission.

Making tracks. China’s Yutu-2 robot.
Credit: CNSA/CLEP

The rover woke itself up at 8:28 p.m. on Friday and re-established communications with the Queqiao relay satellite.

Lunar work days

As of March 13, the rover had completed three lunar days of work, traveling 535 feet (163 meters) before switching to sleep mode.

China’s Chang’e-4 mission landed on January 3 within Von Kármán crater, located in the southern hemisphere on the farside of the Moon.

Sustaining scientific mission

The nearly 300-pound (135-kilogram) Jade Rabbit-2 is the first ever rover to drive on the lunar farside, and is the lightest rover ever sent to the moon.

According to Chinese space engineers, the rover has surpassed its expected design life.

Rover technicians are working to ensure that the machinery will be able to continue its lunar exploration mission and sustain collection of scientific data.

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