China’s lunar rover travels 652.62 meters on moon’s far side

The lander and the rover of the Chang’e-4 probe have been switched to dormant mode for the lunar night after working stably for the 27th lunar day, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.

The lander was switched to dormant mode at 1:30 p.m. Friday (Beijing Time) as scheduled, and the rover, Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2), at 1:48 a.m. Friday, said the centre.

The Chang’e-4 probe, which was switched to dormant mode during the lunar night due to the lack of solar power, had been on the far side of the moon for 778 Earth days as of Saturday, and the rover has travelled 652.62 meters. A lunar day and night each equal 14 days on Earth, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The rover is in good condition, and all scientific payloads are working normally, said the centre.

The Chang’e-4 probe, launched on December 8, 2018, made the first-ever soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on January 3, 2019.

The rover Yutu-2 has far exceeded its three-month design lifespan, becoming the longest-working lunar rover on the moon.

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