Chinese lunar Rover mission “Chang’e-4” has sent new images of the surface of the moon

The lander and Rover of the Chinese mission “Chang’e-4” are currently in hibernation, waiting for the next to them the lunar night, which lasts about two earth weeks. Both devices work on the surface of the satellite is already more than the declared life time, and before sleep once again, conveyed to Earth new images of the surface of the back side of the moon, the Planetary Society reported, citing the China national space administration.

After landing January 3, 2019 at the bottom of the 186-kilometer-wide crater in the Background a Pocket that is on the back (farthest from Earth) side of the moon closer to the South pole of the satellite, a lander and a lunar Rover “WiTu-2” study of the geological and chemical characteristics and differences of the environments between the near and far sides of the companion of our planet. Because the Moon is in tidal capture of the Earth (the orbital period of the satellite around its axis coincides with the period of its circulation around our planet), she always turned to the planet by the same party. At the same time on both sides of the moon has its cycles of day and night, which last a little over 14 earth days.

To date, the lander and the Rover survived the lunar 4 days and 4 lunar night. April 12, both devices are once again plunged into hibernation, waiting for the arrival of the fifth lunar day. Initially it was assumed that the devices will be able to work on the surface of the back side of the moon for a maximum period of three lunar days, so everything that goes on – it is a significant bonus for the China national space administration (CNSA). However, it is noted that the mission team is confident in the ability of the Rover and the lander can and the fifth moon night, met 5 day of the moon, which will begin on April 28.

According to the latest CNSA, lunar Rover “WiTu-2” to date, covered a distance of 178.9 in meters on the lunar surface. This distance exceeds the achievement of the first Chinese lunar Rover “WiTu 1”, which covered the distance of 114 metres, and literally froze in February 2014 after only one lunar day.

During the fourth lunar day “UTU-2” for the period from 29 March to 1 April drove on the lunar surface is only 8 meters. After that both devices are “asleep” NAP time until 8 April, to protect your electronics from overheating from sun radiation. From 8 to 12 April, the Rover “woke up”, cover of 8 meters of the lunar surface, after which it again went into hibernation with the onset of the fifth moon night.

As pointed out by the Planetary Society website, CNSA does not say why “UTU-2” during the fourth day covered so little of the moon’s surface, however, the developer of the mission “Chang’e-4” sun Jajo at a conference in Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, held April 11, said that due to the fact that the Rover during the motion performed a thorough study of the surrounding soil with your images spectrometer operating in the visible and near-infrared bands (VNIS). Similar tasks, the apparatus was performed in the framework of the third lunar day.

Panorama of the lunar surface obtained by the camera of the Rover “WiTu-2”. The red circle indicates the field of view of the spectrometer VNIS

According to the latest official statements of the representatives of the Chinese national space administration, all the elements and spacecraft involved in the mission “Chang’e-4”, including the satellite repeater, Cuitzeo located in the Lagrangian point L2 of the system Earth-Moon are working in the nominal mode.

Traces of “UTU-2” on the surface of the back side of the moon

Unfortunately, in addition to these data, and several new images of the lunar surface obtained by the panoramic camera of the Rover “WiTu-2”, currently nothing more to report. Real scientific data collected by the spacecraft continue to be on the Ground, and a more detailed report on the work of the Chinese lander and Rover we can find out during a special conference devoted to the study of deep space. It is scheduled for July of this year.

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