Lunar probe links with relay satellite, goes ‘walking’

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/4 23:26:27

Yutu II, the rover of China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe, established an independent data transmission link with the Queqiao relay satellite on Friday, according to an update by the China National Space Adminstration (CNSA).

The rover, after rolling out onto the gray dirt floor of the Von Kármán Crater which is on the largely unexplored far side of the moon on Thursday, has completed tasks including environment perception and route planning, and has already "walked" to a designated spot A, to conduct scientific probes.

The rover's lunar probing radar and panoramic camera have been booted. And other on-board loads are expected to start soon. 

As of 5pm on Friday, three 5-meter-long antennas for the Chang'e-4 lander's low-frequency radio spectrograph were unfolded in place, while its Lunar Lander Neutrons and Dosimetry (LND), a neutron dosimeter developed by Kiel University in Germany, has run a power on test, with images taken by a terrain camera transmitted back to the Earth in succession.

The Chang'e-4 probe will be confronted with challenges of high temperatures during moon's daytime, and the rover will enter an almost week-long "nap" dormant phase till January 10.

Temperatures on the moon are about 100 degrees Centigrade during daytime. At night, the lunar surface gets very cold, as cold as minus 173 C.

This wide variation exists because the moon has no atmosphere to hold in heat at night or prevent the surface from getting so hot during the day. And a single "day" on the moon lasts about 28 Earth days, according to the scientific site space.com.



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