Chinese Moon Rover Making Tracks on Lunar Far Side

Yutu 2 leaving track marks as it begins to explore the surface of the far side of the moon

Yutu 2 leaving track marks as it begins to explore the surface of the far side of the moon

The Chang'e-4 spacecraft touched down on the far side of the Moon at 10:26 Beijing time (02:26 GMT) on Thursday.

The head of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, Thursday congratulated the Chinese colleagues on the successful landing of the Chang'e-4 probe.

The mission is the first to the side of the moon that faces away from Earth.

"We are pleased that the power equipment of the Chang'e-4 mission is supplied by radioisotope sources of electricity produced in Russian Federation", he said.

Yutu also conquered those challenges and, after initial setbacks, surveyed the moon's surface for 31 months.

"We hope Yutu-2 can make its exploration with no fear and have a more stable, wide and long journey", said the CNSA in a statement. The ground control has been receiving geographic and geomorphic images of the moon's far side. Moreover, the far side's surface is soft and powdery, a bit like snow, and so China's lunar rover, called the Jade Rabbit 2, had to be specially constructed.

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Legend has it that Chang'e, after swallowing a magic pill, took her pet and flew toward the moon where she became a goddess and has lived with the white jade rabbit ever since.

As 2019 dawns the separate preoccupations of the United States and China sound a bit like tracks from a Pink Floyd album: while Americans obsess over building "The Wall", the Chinese have landed a robot on "The Dark Side of the Moon".

In May, a relay satellite "Queqiao", or "Magpie Bridge", named after an ancient Chinese folk tale, was launched to provide communications support between Chang'e 4 and Earth.

While China's space program still lags America's, He said "China has already positioned itself at least as good as Russian Federation and the European Union".

The Chinese rover has six powered wheels, allowing it to continue to operate even if one wheel fails. 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 other side, most of which can not be seen from the Earth, is called the far side or dark side because most of it is uncharted.

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