China moon rover 'Jade Rabbit' wakes from 'nap'

Chinese Rover Wakes Up on Moon's Far Side After Lunar Nap

Chinese Rover Wakes Up on Moon's Far Side After Lunar Nap

They show the Chang'e-4 probe and its cargo - a Jade Rabbit 2 rover - approaching, adjusting its trajectory and speed before finally landing on the moon on January 3.

Even though several lunar missions have been conducted by countries like the United States, earth's natural satellite is still shrouded with mysteries, especially the dark side of the moon.

CLEP, which released the images, said in a statement: "Researchers completed the preliminary analysis of the lunar surface topography around the landing site based on the image taken by the landing camera". According to the China National Space Administration (CNSA), several of those instruments, which are collaborations between China and other governments, have already been turned on. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon, but nobody had ever landed on it before.

Now, Wu Weiren, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and chief designer of China's lunar exploration program has revealed that China is going to deepen their lunar exploration in the coming years.

The rover, which had been put in "standby" mode to protect it from the Sun's heat, was then switched on and, along with the Chang'e-4 probe, took pictures of the landing site and its surroundings. CNSA is using a relay satellite to send data back to Earth as the lander and rover survey the landscape and study the geology of the area.

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Chang'e 4 touched down on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin in the morning of January 3.

"From the panorama, we can see the probe is surrounded by lots of small craters, which was really thrilling", Li was quoted as saying. There are also very few of the "maria" - dark basaltic "seas" created by lava flows - that are evident on the more familiar near side.

Chang'e-4 was launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China on 7 December.

The deepest region on the moon, with a depth of 9,100 meters (5.7 miles), is about 700 kilometers (435 miles) to the south of the probe, Li said. As the Moon is tidally locked to Earth - its rotation period roughly equals its orbital period - we only get to see one side of our satellite.

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