China’s lunar rover ventures across the dark side of the Moon

Date:26 October 2020 Author: Leila Stein

China’s Chang’e-4 probe rover has completed the impressive feat of travelling 565.9 meters on the dark side of the Moon.

The probe, which made the first ever landing in the soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon in 2019, is continuing to make progress in its mission.

The lander and rover have been on the dark side of the Moon for 660 days. This has taken significant work on the part of the Chinese scientists working with the rover and lander.

Both are currently in dormant mode after working 23 lunar days straight according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.

A lunar day is equal to 14 Earth days. This dormant mode move was to help avoid a malfunction as there is no solar power during a lunar night, which the rover and lander have just entered.

The rover has been transmitting data from its journeys back to Earth, providing insights into this unseen world. One outcome already identified is that the Moon’s surface is incredibly radioactive.

A neutron radiation detector onboard the over sent back measurements which found the lunar surface to be 300 times more radioactive than the surface of Earth in Beijing, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Picture: @YXiusheng/Twitter

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