The rover for China’s Yutu-2 Chang’e-4 mission has restarted activities following a period on standby as a precaution against high temperatures as the sun rose to its highest point over the landing site on the far side of the Moon.
The Chang’e-4 lander and rover made a soft-landing within a pre-selected landing area of the Von Kármán crater at 02:26 universal time January 3, with the Yutu-2 rover being deployed 12 hours later.
The rover and lander began testing and calibrating instruments, with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) releasing images of the activity from lander monitoring cameras.
Yutu-2 was placed in standby mode between January 6 and January 10 to prevent damage from direct solar radiation which could raise the temperature on the sunlit side of the craft to over 100 degrees.
A Sina Weibo social media account apparently linked to the official activities of Yutu-2 stated in the first person on Thursday at 17:14 Beijing time (9:14 UTC) that the rover had ended her lunch break and would get some exercise.
The original Yutu rover from the 2013 Chang’e-3 mission to the lunar near side also took a similar break during its first lunar day in Mare Imbrium.
Expected on Friday are the release of images from one or both of the lander’s Terrain Camera (TCAM) and the rover’s Panoramic Camera (PCAM)
Yutu-2 is set to rover to the front side of the lander and return an image of the craft, like that taken by its predecessor Yutu for the Chang’e-3 mission above, before continuing to explore using its suite of science instruments.