Yutu-2 view of farside surroundings.


China’s Chang’e-4 probe has been switched to dormant mode for the lunar night after working for a 26th lunar day. That’s the word from the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

Chang’e-4 farside mission – lander and Yutu-2 rover

The Chang’e -4 lunar farside mission has been switched to dormant mode as it slipped into another 14-days of super-cold nighttime temperatures.

The lander entered the dormant mode at 9:10 p.m. Beijing time on Wednesday after Yutu-2, the rover, switched to the mode at 2:06 p.m. on the same day.

CNSA noted that the pair has survived on the farside of the Moon for 749 Earth days, with the rover traveling a total distance of roughly 2,060 feet (628.47 meters).

The Yutu-2 rover’s Visible-Near Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS) carried on the rover has revealed micro-scale surface thermo-physical properties of the Moon, according to researchers from the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences – detailed in their study published in the Geophysical Research Letters.

Credit: Philip Stooke

New map

Meanwhile, Philip Stooke, Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Research Professor within the Department of Geography, and Institute for Earth and Space Exploration at the University of Western Ontario, has issued a new map showing Yutu-2’s traverse.

Stooke told Inside Outer Space that the robot’s small drive on the 25th day was caused by a photometry experiment conducted throughout the morning of that day, which involved staying in one place and viewing a single spot on the lunar surface as the Sun moved. 

Chang’e-4 landed in Von Kármán crater, within the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin, on January 3, 2019 at 02:26 UT (10:26 a.m. Beijing time).



Go to this paper — “Chang’E‐4 rover spectra revealing micro‐scale surface thermophysical properties of the Moon” — in Geophysical Research Letters



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