Yutu 2, China’s rover on the far side of the moon, which was launched by the Chinese space agency as a part of the Chang’e-4 mission, has broken the current longevity record for working on the surface of the moon. According to one of the biggest Chinese television networks, the previous record was held by Lunokhod 1.
Lunokhod 1 was the first remote-controlled rover that reached the moon. It landed in the Sea of Rains in November 1970. The rover was manufactured and launched by the Soviet Union and remained operational for ten and a half months.
The feat was quite impressive since the initial estimation inferred that it would remain functional for 90 days. A team of 5 engineers guided the rover through the Sea of Rains, collecting valuable data that made the mission one of the most significant achievements of the Soviet lunar exploration programs. It managed to travel across a distance of 6.5 miles and sent over 20,000 images and 200 panoramas.
About China’s Yutu 2 rover on the far side of the moon
Yutu 2 has spent more than 11 months on the surface of the moon, as it landed on January 3, 2019. A stationary lander accompanied it, and both landed in the Von Kármán Crater, which is located near the Aitken Basin.
According to the television network bot, the rover and the lander are currently in hibernation as the lunar night began. The rover managed to travel over a distance of 1,132 feet (or 345 meters). The Chang’e-4 mission is quite ambitious since it is the first one that tackled the far side of the moon. A few exciting discoveries have made, including a fascinating impact site.
The impact was so intense that glass formed on the surface due to the high temperatures. At first, the researchers believed that the shiny substance might have been a type of gel, but this was not the case. Yutu 2 will likely continue to uncover new information in the future.