China releases impressive new images from the far side of the Moon

hidden face moon

In a few days it will be five years since the launch of the Chinese lunar rover Yutu-2, the first, and so far the only one, to have explored from the surface the hidden side of the Moon. The Chinese Space Agency recently unveiled new images taken by the rover, showing that it is in good condition.

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Rabbit on the Moon

Yutu-2 is part of the Chang'e 4 mission, lifted off on December 7, 2018, and landed on the far side of the Moon on January 3, 2019. It has managed to survive more than fifty lunar nights thanks to a radioisotope heating unit, capable of keeping the electronics at an ideal temperature.

Once light returns to the Von Kármán crater, Yutu-2 must wait for the Sun to rise above 15° above the horizon to harness the sun's energy with its solar panels and resume its slow journey, reaching maximum speeds of a few meters per hour.

It has several cameras capable of creating panoramas throughout the lunar day. However, many of them are not disclosed to the public, and over the past year, only a few of them have been published a few times. The most recent ones correspond to July 15when it was at coordinates 177.565254° east and 45.424986° south, accumulating a total distance of approximately 1568.4 meters.

The images show numerous craters and small rocks no larger than ten centimeters in size. As well as the tracks left by the six wheels of the lunar rover. The panoramic view extends to the horizon, which due to the smaller size of the Moon is observed closer.

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Yutu-2 continues to explore the dark side, using its various scientific instruments to study the subsurface and make new measurements to learn more about the Moon's history. As well as allowing to calibrate the information obtained through samples from the Apollo, Moon and Chang'e 5 missions.

Francisco Andrés Forero Daza
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