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China's lunar rover travels 652.62 meters on moon's far side

Updated: Feb 20,2021 11:39 AM    Xinhua

BEIJING — The lander and the rover of the Chang'e-4 probe have been switched to dormant mode for the lunar night after working stably for the 27th lunar day, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.

The lander was switched to dormant mode at 1:30 pm on Feb 19 (Beijing Time) as scheduled, and the rover, Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2), at 1:48 am on Feb 19, said the center.

The Chang'e-4 probe, which was switched to dormant mode during the lunar night due to the lack of solar power, had been on the far side of the moon for 778 Earth days as of Feb 20, and the rover has traveled 652.62 meters. A lunar day and night each equal 14 days on Earth.

The rover is in good condition, and all scientific payloads are working normally, said the center.

The Chang'e-4 probe, launched on Dec 8, 2018, made the first-ever soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3, 2019.

The rover Yutu-2 has far exceeded its three-month design lifespan, becoming the longest-working lunar rover on the moon.