China Reveals Astounding Pictures Of The Far Side Of The Moon
By Yimin Huang, 12 Jul 2019
China’s lunar lander, ‘Chang’e-4’, has delivered more incredible pictures of the far side of the moon from its space-office.
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has been exploring the side of the moon facing away from Earth, a place that has been relatively unknown. ‘Chang’e-4’ and its ‘Yutu-2’ (Jade Rabbit 2) lunar rover soft-landed on the moon’s far side in January, the first time any nation has accomplished that.
The lander and rover have collected new images from the distant side, one showing a zigzag print left behind by the rover in lunar dust, and the other showing the rover looking back at the lander as they are separated by vast, desolate lunar land.
However, the mission does not merely aim to take a closer look at the far side. Research into the composition of the lunar surface and mantle, as well as investigations into whether the moon can support certain life, have been carried out.
A small ecosystem that included seeds, fruit fly eggs and yeast were taken to the moon. Only the seeds sprouted, but they too died when the temperature fell.
Andrew Jones, a reporter who covers China’s space program, revealed that the rover is still driving, but no roving distance has been disclosed during its seventh lunar day. The rover and lander are expected to rest for a few weeks before continuing on their picture-taking and research activities.
China is not stopping at another lunar mission ‘Chang’e-5’ is launching later this year, with the ambitious goal of returning lunar samples to Earth for the first time since Russia did in the 1970s.
China's Chang'e-4 probe switches to dormant mode for the lunar night on the far side of the moon pic.twitter.com/kepZMDlUXN— China Focus (@China__Focus) July 10, 2019
Mystery unveiled at last? Measurements taken by China’s lunar rover Yutu-2 from the Chang’e-4 mission to the far side of the Moon have revealed evidence of mantle material, which has eluded investigators for years. Rock samples will be needed confirm the findings. pic.twitter.com/ol5SUyRfNG— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) May 16, 2019
[via CNET, cover image via Shutterstock]
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