Chinese Moon Rover Making Tracks on Lunar Far Side

Chinese Moon Rover Making Tracks on Lunar Far Side

Chinese Moon Rover Making Tracks on Lunar Far Side

The spacecraft's instrument sweet will allow Chang'e-4 to measure the mineral composition of the moon's far side. Previous moon landings have been on the near side.

Yutu-2, atop the probe, extended its solar panel, stretched out its mast and started to slowly fly to the lunar surface Thursday night.

Leaving two tracks in the soft lunar surface, the slow roll of Jade Rabbit 2 on to the far side of the moon was a relatively small step in the long voyage of the Chinese rover.

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Chang'e 4's images and data come home via a relay satellite called Queqiao, which is parked at a gravitationally stable spot beyond the moon.

A Chinese space rover explored the lunar terrain on Friday in the world's first mission on the surface of the far side of the moon. Both China's space community and public have taken pride in the accomplishment, with some drawing comparisons to the United States.

Lunar rover Yutu-2 has been driving on the far side of the moon after separating from the lander and scientific devices on both the lander and rover are now gathering data, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said late Friday.

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It is the second Chinese spacecraft to land on the only natural satellite of our planet, following the Yutu rover mission in 2013.

"Although this was one small step for the rover, I think it is one big step for the Chinese people", he said in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV, echoing the famous quote by U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the Moon in 1969.

"The landing on the far side shows China's technology is powerful", said He Qisong, a space expert at the East China University of Science and Law in Shanghai. It has a maximum speed of 0.1 miles per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or mount an obstacle up to 8 inches tall, the report said. The first human-made object to hit the far side was NASA's Ranger 4 craft in 1964; it crashed after a system failure.

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