The rover and the lander of the Chang’e-4 probe have resumed work after “sleeping” during their second lunar night on the far side of the moon.
The lander woke up at 7:52 am Friday, and the rover, Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2), awoke at about 10:51 am Thursday. Both of them are in normal condition, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.
China’s Chang’e-4 probe, launched on Dec 8 in 2018, made the first-ever soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3.
A lunar day equals 14 days on Earth, and a lunar night is the same length. The Chang’e-4 probe switched to a dormant mode during the lunar night due to the lack of solar power.
As a result of the tidal locking effect, the moon’s revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, and it always faces Earth with the same side.
The far side of the moon has unique features, and scientists expect Chang’e-4 could bring breakthrough findings.
The scientific tasks of the Chang’e-4 mission include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveying the terrain and landforms, detecting the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure, and measuring neutron radiation and neutral atoms.
The Chang’e-4 mission embodies China’s hope to combine human wisdom in space exploration, with four payloads developed by the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.