For the first time in history, the mobile probe is active on the far side of the Moon.
At 10:22 am Beijing time Thursday, January 3, the Chinese Jade Rabbit 2 Rover touches a soft snow-like surface after slowly descending the path that extends from Chang's landing page 4, according to state-run Radio Television CCTV , and as the Associated Press reports. The Rover was deployed around 10 hours after the Chang'e-4 spacecraft landed on the moon.
It is now the first time in history that the mobile probe is active on the far side of the moon – a huge achievement for the National Space Administration of China (CNSA) and the nation's growing space program.
"It's a tiny step for the rover, but one huge leap for the Chinese nation," WSV Wu Vuren, chief designer of the lunar exploration project, told. "This giant leap is a decisive move for our space exploration and the conquest of the universe."
Bombastic words, surely, but the true meaning of this statement is probably lost in translation; by "conquering" the universe, Wu is probably talking about the growing mastery of humanity over nature, and not for some sort of plan to collect a galactic empire. At least we hope.
The image taken from Chang's 4 era shows the six-wheeled rover that sits nicely on the Moon's surface with several signs on the track behind it. Right before that lies a frightening hole, almost certainly a crater. This picture, along with the others taken shortly after the landing, are the first close-up pictures that were ever taken from the so-called distant side of the moon. We call it because it is the side that never confronts the Earth. Our moon is sufficiently locked, which means that one side is constantly facing our planet. It is wrong to call it the "dark side" of the moon, because the sun's rays also reach the side on the outside of the moon.
Each of the six wheels of the rover is independent, so Jade Rabbit 2 can still move if one or more wheels are suddenly decomposed, the AP report said. The Rover can exceed obstacles smaller than 20 cm in height (20 centimeters) and climb hills not sharper than 20 degrees. Its highest speed is about 200 meters per hour, or just over one-eighth of an hour in an hour
Back in 2013, China deployed its Yutu rover, or Jade Rabbit 1, to the nearby side of the moon as part of the Chang's mission 3. It was the first soft landing of the moon's probe from the Soviet Moonlight 2 mission from 1973 , but the router Yutu has lost the ability to move after just two lunar nights.
Together with the landing of Chang's 4, Jade Rabbit 2 will collect scientific data to help scientists learn more about the early solar system conditions, to expel the potential presence of water ice, to study the relationship between solar winds and the surface of the moon, and the study of low gravity plant growth, among other scientific purposes, according to CNN.
Another cool thing about this mission, as pointed out by the AP, is that CNSA uses innovative technology in which the Chang'E4 spacecraft 4 automatically scans the Moon's surface before landing, choosing the safest possible landing site . It has never been done before.
In addition to gathering precious scientific data, China also makes some reconnaissance and development of technologies necessary for the crew of the Moon mission. Beijing announced that it would like to eventually build a base on the surface of the moon.
Indeed, China is finally beginning to push itself as a country capable of space space, and quickly catches the United States, Russia and the European Union. Personally, I think it's great that other countries entered the space race in full steam, and if they inspire other countries to maintain and develop new technologies, the better. Sometimes little competition is a good thing, as long as it is channeled in the right direction.[AP]