The Chinese national space agency has just shared new photos on the other side of the moon, just over a year after the mission landed.
On January 3, 2019, the Chinese mission Chang’e-4 made history by becoming the first in history to perform a soft moon landing on the far side of our satellite. The lander and its rover positioned themselves in the heart of the Von Karman crater, in the basin of the South-Aitken pole. The latter is none other than the largest impact crater in the Solar System.
The main objectives of the mission include the study of the terrain and reliefs in the basin, as well as the study of the mineral composition and water resources of the region. Since its deployment, the Yutu 2 rover has traveled just over 350 meters through the 180-kilometer-wide crater. It is recalled that its predecessor, Yutu 1, during the Chang’e 3 mission, had only managed to cover 114 meters before sinking in February 2014.
New photos available!
As part of the mission, the lander and the rover also took a lot of photos. The Chinese space agency has just shared several. They allow us to understand a region that had never before received visitors.
We also recall that the mission was originally to last only three lunar days. In other words, it had to stop last March. Everything accessible from there is therefore only a bonus. It remains to be seen how long the two machines will last. For the lander, the end of the game should however be whistled in a few weeks. The life of the rover is more uncertain, however.
In parallel, the Chinese authorities are also working on the deployment of the next mission, called Chang’e 5. It is expected to be launched later this year. Its objective will be to land near Mons Rümker, in the middle of the “Ocean of Storms”. His goal will then be to collect two kilos of samples which will then be brought back to Earth for analysis.