Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Chinese rover 'Jade Rabbit' drives on far side of the moon

Chinese rover 'Jade Rabbit' drives on far side of the moon

"We are building China into a space giant", Dr. Wu said in his televised remarks.

Chang'e-4 lunar probe mission - named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology - was the second Chinese probe to land on the moon following the Yutu rover mission in 2013.

China's lunar rover drives smoothly on moon's far side By Xinhua Saturday, January 05, 2019, 11:35 By Xinhua Photo provided by the China National Space Administration on Jan 4, 2019 shows image of Yutu-2, China's lunar rover, at preset location A on the surface of the far side of the moon.

"The Chang'e-4, carrying eight payloads, will conduct low-frequency radio astronomical observation, survey the terrain and landforms, detect the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure and measure the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the Moon".

There has been no official statement from authorities as of now, but several sources claimed on Twitter that the Chang'e-4 spacecraft successfully landed on the far side of the Moon at 10:26 a.m. Beijing time/2:26 a.m.

The Yutu-2 rover. Image credit: CNSA.

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The U.S. Congress has banned NASA from working with China on space exploration because of national security concerns.

China has chosen the name "Yutu-2", or Jade Rabbit-2, for its new moon rover, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced late Thursday.

While China's space program still lags America's, He said "China has already positioned itself at least as good as Russian Federation and the European Union".

The Chang'e-4 lunar probe was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China on December 8, 2018, and entered orbit around the Moon five days later.

The Chinese rover has six powered wheels, allowing it to continue to operate even if one wheel fails. It has a maximum speed of 200 metres per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or an obstacle up to 20cm tall.

"The surface is soft and it is similar to that when you are walking on the snow", rover designer Shen Zhenrong of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said on CCTV.

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