The Chinese robot Yutu-2 has captured an image of what appears to be a cube-shaped structure on the moon’s surface.
The solar-powered autonomous exploration vehicle should approach the chassis in two to three months. It’s part of the mission that reached the hidden side of the moon in January 2019, by the Chang’e 4 space probe.
In jest to netizens, the site linked to the Chinese space agency said the structure looked like a hut. The point is about 80 meters from the current position of the robot, which should approach the cube within 3 months.
It’s part of the mission to the hidden side of the moon in January 2019, captured by the Chang’e 4 space probe. – Photo: Our Space/Publishing
China on the hidden side of the moon
After liftoff from Earth in December, exploration module Chang’e-4 landed on the moon in January 2019, having chosen the Von Karman Crater as its destination.
The Chinese probe succeeded in landing on the hidden side of the moon
Unlike the face of the Moon closest to Earth, which is always facing our planet, neither the probe nor any space exploration unit has landed on the other side of the Moon’s surface.
The moon rotates on itself in 29 and a half days, the same rate as it orbits around the Earth, which explains why half of our planet’s natural satellite is not seen by humans. The hidden side is high, bumpy and full of potholes, while the visible side has several flat landing surfaces.
Chang’e-4 probe mission on January 11, 2019 – Photo: Chinese Lunar Exploration Program / Twitter
One of the biggest challenges is being able to communicate with the Lunar Robot. Since the dark side of the Moon is pointed away from Earth, there is no direct “line of sight” for sending signals. Thus, in May, China launched the Koeqiao satellite, which is stationed in lunar orbit, to transmit requests and data exchanged between the Earth and the spacecraft.
The mission contains, among other scientific objectives, the analysis of the terrain and topography of the moon, the discovery of the mineral composition and structure of the lunar surface and even the observation of tomato cultivation.
This is the second time that China has sent a rover to explore the lunar surface. The first was Yutu, in 2013. It has been active for 31 months.
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