Chang’e-4 lander as observed by Yutu-2 rover.
Credit: CNSA/CLEP

 

 

China’s CCTV reports all is well for the Chang’e-4 farside Moon mission.

Wu Weiren, the chief designer of China’s lunar program, notes that the Yutu-2 rover is entering into the third Moon week.

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

Wu said the wheeled robot has finished exploring near the landing point and is rolling towards the northwest.

“We’ve gained many data in the past a few days, and we are going to reveal the data to the world,” said Wu.

 

Speed up the pace

“Over the past 60 years, we’ve made a lot of achievements,” Wu said, “but there is still a large distance from the world space powers. We must speed up our pace.”

“At the end of this year, we are going to launch the Chang’e-5 probe,” Wu said in the CCTV interview. “It will take samples on the Moon surface and return to the Earth. China will become the third country that is capable of such task after the United States and Russia. Next year, we will launch a Mars probe, which will orbit around the Mars, land on it and probe it.”

Credit: Phil Stooke

 

 

Rover nap, sleep sessions

The Yutu-2 lunar rover along with the Chang’e-4 lander was launched on Dec. 8, 2018, making the first-ever soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the lunar far side on January 3.

The lunar rover had a nap in January and started its second sleep on the Moon Feb. 11 and reawakened on Feb. 28. “Currently, it is in normal condition,” said Wu.

Wu Weiren, chief designer of the lunar exploration program, presents the Chang’e-4 rover.
Credit: CCTV/Screengrab

Night on the Moon is 14 days long. This reduces the temperature on the Moon to minus 190 degrees Celsius, “a temperature that all components, parts, and electronic components cannot stand,” Wu explained. “So we let it sleep for a while, ensuring it to spend the night safely.”

According to a CGTN story, Wu added that “the road condition is not good with potholes and obstacles on it. But please rest assured we will ensure its safety.”

Wu took part in the opening of the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on Sunday.

 

 

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