Thursday, May 09, 2024

China's Yutu-2 Far Side Moon Rover Continues 5-year Record of Operations

China's Yutu-2 Far Side Moon Rover Continues 5-year Record of Operations

China's Yutu-2 lunar rover has been working on the far side of the Moon for over five years, traveling a distance of more than 1,596 meters (1 mile) as part of the China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP). Yutu-2 is currently operational as humanity's longest-lived lunar rover and the first lunar rover traversing the far side of the Moon. Yutu-2 is the robotic lunar rover component of the China National Space Administration's Chang'e 4 Mission to the Moon, launched on December 7, 2018. Chang'e 4 soft landed on the far side of the Moon on January 3, 2019. 

Yutu-2 has a radioisotope heater unit to maintain its subsystems during long and cold lunar nights. Electrical power is generated by the rover's solar panels during daylight.

Yutu-2 communicates with Earth via China's Queqiao-1 relay satellite in a halo orbit around the Moon. Queqiao-1 was launched in advance back in May 2018. Queqiao-1 is the first ever communication relay and radio astronomy satellite at the Moon. It was joined by China's second Earth-Moon relay satellite, Queqiao-2, in March 2024.

Direct communication with Earth is impossible on the far side of the Moon, since transmissions are blocked by the Moon. Communications must pass through a communications relay satellite, placed at a location that has a clear view of a landing site and the Earth.

Image Credit: China National Space Administration (CNSA)

Release Date: May 4, 2024

#NASA #CNSA #Space #Astronomy #Science #China #中国 #Moon #FarSide #Yuyu2 #玉兔二号#LunarRover #Robotics #Change4Mission #LunarLander #Queqiao1Satellite #SpaceTechnology #Engineering #HumanSpaceflight #History #STEM #Education

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