The Farside Moon Rover of China Breaks Moon Longevity Record

China’s farside moon rover Yutu 2, part of the nation’s Chang’e 4 mission, broke the longevity record for staying on the moon’s surface.

China Global Television Network (CGTN) previously said that the human-machine rolled by the recent record set by Lunokhod 1 rover of the Soviet Union.

Lunokhod 1 was the remote-controlled pioneer moving the robot to make a landing on another planet, operating in the sea of rains starting on November 17, 1970. Lunokhod 1 missions stopped officially about 10.5 months after on October 4, 1971.  It was the 14th Sputnik 1 launch anniversary, which was the first ever-manmade satellite. 

Lunokhod 1 went for 6.5 miles, which is equivalent to 10.5 kilometers on the moon surface and returned to Earth more than 20,000TV pictures and not less than 200 TV panoramas. 

Yutu 2 has been on the lunar surface for a period of more than 11 months since January 3, 2019.  

The rover is among China’s Chang’e 4 mission that includes a stationary lander. The two touched down on the surface of the 110-mile wide Von Karman Crater that lies within the Aitken Basin South pole.

CGTN reported that Yutu -2 would keep on working on the lunar surface.

Early this month, Yutu-2 and the Chang’e 4 landers completed their work for the 12th lunar day, resetting to the dormant mode for the moon night, said the Moon Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). It would take the moon about 29 days to finish one rotation on its own axis, so it is safe to say the one lunar day is equivalent to one month here on earth. 

CNSA officials noted that meanwhile, the rover had traveled over 1,132 feet equivalent to 345 meters of traveling.

The record of Yutu 2 applies to surface craft only; many lunar orbiters have worked for longer. For instance, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter of NASA launched in June 2009 is still moving on strong.

The center said that the controllers on the ground built a driving route for the wheeled rover to enable it to conduct a scientific detection of the depth of the effect cater and the supply of the ejecta. The center added that the Yutu 2rover was required to bring them more surprises and scientific discoveries. 

It is believed that the rover has traveled for not less than 285meters on the surface of the moon to carry on scientific exploration on the virgin territory. 

Ryszard Stopczyk