The first surface exploration of the far side of the moon, also known as the dark side of the moon has begun this Friday. Chang’e 4 has released a rover that will take over the future investigations of the “soft” terrain.
According to Great Lakes Ledger, these tracks belong to the rover named Yutu 2, also known as the Jade Rabbit 2.
Yutu 2 drove off the ramp and, according to the chief designer of the Lunar Exploration Project, Wu Weiren, it was a “small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation.”
But this is just the beginning of the mission. He added that this giant leap will be decisive “for our exploration of space and the conquering of the universe.”
The photos released by the Chinese space agency show the rover leaving the ramp and leaving tracks in the soft surface of the moon.
Yutu 2 has six powered wheels so that when one of them fails, the other can continue to help the rover operate. It can move 200 meters per hour, climb a 20-degree hill or an obstacle that 20 cm tall. According to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s Shen Zhenrong, who is the rover designer, the far side of the moon has a soft surface, which is “similar to that when you are walking on the snow.”
China “As Good as Russia and the European Union”
The successful landing showed that the tech used by China is powerful, stated a space expert at the East China University of Science and Law in Shanghai, He Qisong. They found a way to overcome the challenging connection between Earth and the far side of the moon thanks to the satellite that intermediated the connection. The team also made a soft landing so that they won’t damage the lunar surface. With this achievement, Qisong added that “China has already positioned itself at least as good as Russia and the European Union.”
Exploring the unseen side of the moon will help scientists learn more about the beginning of the solar system, considering that the sunlight didn’t reach this side of the moon and it was not damaged by solar radiation.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.