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China's Yutu-2 rover sends image from the 'dark side' of the moon, showing its winding dust tracks

Daily Mail - Science & tech

China's lunar rover has beamed back a new image of the'dark side' of the moon showing the winding path it has taken over the surface. The Yutu-2 rover arrived on the moon three years ago on Change'e 4 - the first spacecraft to ever land on the far side of the moon. Chang'e 4 is visible in the back right of the panorama image, along with the twisting tracks in the moon dust left by the rover. Since landing, the solar-powered Yutu-2 has traveled 3,376 feet (1,029 metres) across the Von Kármán crater, according to data from China's Lunar Exploration Ground Application System. A panorama made of stitched photos from Yutu 2, capturing the lunar rover's winding track in the moon dust and the distant Chang'e 4 lander Chang'e 4 is visible in the back right of the panorama image, along with the twisting tracks in the moon dust left by the rover Yutu-2 is the robotic lunar rover component of China's Chang'e 4 mission to the far side of the Moon. It launched on December 7, 2018, entered lunar orbit on December 12, and made the first soft landing on the far side of the Moon January 3, 2019.


Chinese scientists identify moon's green gel-like substance

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Chinese scientists have identified the chemical makeup and likely origin of a mysterious gel-like substance found on the moon in 2019. The dark green material was first observed by China's Yutu-2 rover while exploring terrain near the Von Kármán crater, a famous impact site on the far side of the moon that measures around 110 miles in diameter. New analysis by a group of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences confirms that the substance wasn't actually a gel but a hard and glassy mineral compound that had been melted and reformed at high heat by an ancient asteroid impact. The team identified it specifically as a form of breccia, a kind of rock formed by mineral fragments that are'cemented' together by some external force. According to the team, the substance was'formed by impact-generated welding, cementing and agglutinating of lunar regolity and breccia.'


China's lunar rover discovers 'gel-like' substance with 'unusual colour' in crater on moon

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A strange'gel-like' substance has been discovered on the far side of the moon by a lunar rover sent by China's space agency. The Yutu-2 rover, which landed on the far side of the moon in January of this year, found the substance last month but news of the discovery has just been made public. The rover, part of China's Chang'e-4 lunar mission, discovered the substance in a crater just before it was set to power down for its usual midday'nap'. A strange'gel-like' substance has been discovered in a crater (pictured) on the far side of the moon by the Yutu-2 lunar rover sent by China's space agency A team member looking at the rover's main camera spotted the small crater, which appeared to contain material with a colour unlike the surrounding lunar surface, Space.com Having seen the images, lunar scientists decided to postpone plans to send Yutu-2 further west and instead ordered the rover to check the strange material.


China wants 'to build a house on the far side of the Moon using 3-D printing technology'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

China wants to be the first country to establish a base on the moon and says it will build it using 3D printing technology. Officials from the Chinese space agency also said the country will return to the moon by the end of the year with the Chang'e-5 mission. Three successive missions will further explore the barren surface and the viability of building houses there. China National Space Administration (CNSA) said they also have plans to go to Mars in 2020, a timeline that would likely make them the first to do so, beating out the US, Russia and the plethora of private firms looking to colonise space. China successfully achieved a global first with its trip to the far side of the moon when it landed in the Von Kármán crater on January 4. Speaking at a conference earlier today, the high-ranking CNSA staff claimed the ground-breaking mission only cost the same as building one kilometer of underground railway. The lander and its corresponding rover - Yutu-2 - sent back images of the equipment and the moonscape last week after the rover, called Jade Rabbit 2 in English, woke from an enforced'nap'. China's lunar probe has sent the first panoramic image (left half, pictured) of its landing site since its historic arrival on the far side of the moon, showing the cratered landscape it is exploring. A camera deployed on Chang'e-4 took a photo that was released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) The panoramic image (right half, pictured) also reveals the Yutu-2 rover and its tracks. Dr Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the National Space Administration and deputy commander of lunar exploration projects, said in a press conference: 'Chang'e-5 will return mission sampling from the surface of the moon around the end of this year.


Chinese moon rover Jade Rabbit 2 'updates' its Weibo account before taking a 'nap'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

China's pioneering trip to the far side of the moon has a social media account which is keeping people on Earth informed of the mission's'nap' schedule. The'noon nap' is designed to protect the machinery from the relentless heat of the moon during the lunar day. Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit 2, rover landed on the moon on January 4 and, after testing its components were working properly, announced it was taking a'siesta'. The 308lbs (139kg) rover, which has six independently controlled wheels, is expected to wake-up and resume work on January 10. Temperatures can soar to nearly 200 C (392 F) and Yutu-2 is capable of protecting and cooling itself to maintain a core temperature of less than 55 C (131 F). The Yutu-2 - or Jade Rabbit 2 - rover drove off its lander's ramp and onto the moon's far side at 10:22pm GMT on Thursday, about 12 hours after the Chinese spacecraft carrying it came to rest. Twitter is blocked by the Chinese government but microblogging site Weibo is popular in the country and the posts from Yutu-2 have been made there (pictured).