China has released new photos of its Yutu (Jade Rabbit) 2 lunar rover leaving track marks on the far side of the moon.
Last week China landed its Chang’e 4 spacecraft on the moon’s far side.
This is the first time a human object has successfully landed on the far-side of the moon. The last attempt was made by the unsuccessful NASA’s Ranger 4 mission in 1964 (which crashed after a system failure).
The first photo shared by the China National Space Administration shows the moons surface
The new images show the Chang’e 4s rover Yutu 2 setting off across the surface of the moon.
The crafts missions will be to find out more about the ‘dark side of the moon’ (which isn’t always dark; we just do not see it from Earth) as well as establishing China as a new space-super-power alongside the USA, Europe and Russia. Its goal will be to return data on mineral composition and the structure of the surface of the moon.
Yutu 2 has six wheels and a max speed of 0.1mph; it packs enough punch to climb a 20-degree slope and move over obstructions up to 8 inches tall.
The moon’s surface is covered with dead volcanoes, impact craters, and lava flows but is still quite soft. It would similar to driving across a snow-drift.
The Associated Press reported that Lunar Exploration Project projects chief told CCTV that the landing was “a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation”.