In a recent report, the China National Space Administration announced that its Chang’e-4 lander and rover made it through the first freezing lunar night on the dark side of the Moon.
The first to wake up has been the Chinese lunar rover, Yutu-2, also know as Jade Rabbit-2. It was located at about 60 feet away from the Chang’e-4 lander. About 24 hours later, the Chang’e-4 module has also woken up on the dark side of the Moon. According to the China National Space Administration, both the lander and the rover survived the freezing lunar night without any damages. The Chinese scientists also reported that Chang’e-4’s instruments estimated the temperature of the dark side of the Moon during the lunar night at about minus 190 degrees Celsius (about minus 310 Fahrenheit).
“According to the measurements of Chang’e-4, the temperature of the shallow layer of the lunar soil on the far side of the moon is lower than the data obtained by the US Apollo mission on the near side of the moon,” reported Zhang He, the director of the Chang’e-4 program.
Chang’e-4 Lander and Rover Survived The Freezing Lunar Night on The Dark Side of The Moon
According to Zhang He, the difference in temperature between Chang’e-4’s readings and those of the Apollo missions has something to do with the lunar soil composition between the visible side and the dark side of the Moon.
“That’s probably due to the difference in lunar soil composition between the two sides of the moon. We still need more careful analysis,” Zhang He explained. Also, he added that the lunar temperatures vary considerably and that the Chang’e-4 lander entered standby mode earlier this month due to high surface temperatures on the dark side of the Moon – about 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit).
Change’e-3 entered in history in January when it landed on the dark side of the Moon, becoming the first space probe that touchdowns there.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.