Chang’e-4 farside lander and Yutu-2 rover.
Credit: CNSA/CLEP

China’s Chang’e-4 lunar lander and rover have been on the farside of the Moon for more than 800 Earth days. The mission landed on the Moon on January 3, 2019.

According to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), both have been switched to dormant (sleep) mode after working stably for a 28th lunar day. A lunar day and the super-cold night each equals about 14 days on Earth.

The lander was switched to dormant mode at 2 a.m. Sunday (Beijing Time), and the rover, Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2), at 5:09 p.m. Saturday, said the center.

Chang’e-4 landing site.
Credit: CNSA/CLEP

The rover has traveled over 2,237.5 feet (682.77 meters) since its deployment on the lunar surface, within a crater called Von Kármán.

Credit: CNSA/CLEP

Landing site study

According to a Xinhua news story, researchers have made a series of scientific discoveries, including the mineral composition, topographic and geological evolution history of the landing site.

“Researchers from the Aerospace Information Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences analyzed the spectral characteristics of the rocks in the rover’s inspection area and inferred that the rocks probably originated from the Finsen impact crater,” Xinhua added.

Finsen is a lunar impact crater. Image taken by LROC imaging system aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
Credit: NASA/GSFC/ASU

Finsen is a relatively young lunar impact crater on the Moon’s farside. Ejecta from Finsen covers the southeastern part of Leibnitz’s interior floor. To the southwest of Finsen is another walled plain, Von Kármán, partly overlain by Leibnitz.

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