Chinas Change-4 probe wakes up after first lunar night


The static lander, which launched on 7 December, touched down at 10:26 am Beijing time on 3 January in the South Pole-Aitken basin.

News regarding this mission prior to the successful landing was kept secret by CNSA. Analysis of the rock fragment showed that it was crystallized around 20 kilometers below earth's surface around 4 billion years ago which then excavated naturally due to large impactful events that led to launch into lunar space.

The names of the mission and the rover are significant due to their roots in Chinese culture.

The "dark" side of the moon isn't really darker than the "light" side of the moon.

China's motivations for sustained human presence in space may include extracting valuable resources from the moon or asteroids, as well as preparing for a "lifeboat scenario" where the Earth becomes uninhabitable.

A day and night on the Moon is equivalent to about 28 days on the Earth.

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The far side of the moon has crust that is thicker, older, is more cratered and overall has a more rugged terrain. The lander can regulate itself, but the Yutu-2 rover will go back to sleep on February 3 to avoid overheating when the sunlight is most direct.

As a result of the tidal locking effect, the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, and the same side of the moon always faces Earth. The two devices work normally and communicate with the ground and transmit data stably through the relay satellite Queqiao.

The walking route of China's lunar rover Yutu-2 on the far side surface of the Moon.

A number of experiments are planned for the spacecraft to conduct. China is now the third country, after the former Soviet Union and United States, to successfully land on the moon.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is expected to take images of the Chang'e-4 spacecraft at its landing site in the Von Kármán crater on Thursday, January 31 and also gather data about how lunar dust is ejected upwards during a spacecraft's landing, in a rare instance of space cooperation between China and America.

Yutu-2 will continue to rove and explore, analysing the variations of composition of the lunar surface and SPA melt sheet with the Visible and Near-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS), examine the subsurface with the Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR), and provide insight into the space environment and interactions with the surface with the Advanced Small Analyser for Neutrals (ASAN) developed in Sweden.