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Chang’e 4 Lander and “Yutu 2” Rover Survive the First Lunar Night and Work on the Second Lunar Day
At 20:39p.m. January 30, Chang’e 4 Lander was autonomously awakened by sunlight, followed by “Yutu 2” Rover at around 20:00p.m., January 29, both of which survived the extremely low temperature on the far side of the moon. Their key devices were progressively energized and started up according to the pre-programed control system at the first lunar night after they autonomously ended the “dormant mode at lunar night” based on the solar altitude angle. Additionally, the battery equipped in the Lander smoothly provided power supply to the temperature collector at the lunar night, which guaranteed the measurement of temperature variation at the measuring points at this first lunar night, and acquired the data of temperature at a lunar night for the first time in the lunar exploration program of China.
At present, the Rover is located in around 18m to the northwest of the Lander. They are working normally and maintaining stable communication and data transmission with the earth through the lunar relay satellite “Queqiao” (Magpie Bridge). According to the measurements at the first lunar night, the temperature on the surface of the moon dropped to the lowest -190°C at the lunar night. Such low temperature made a severe challenge for the long-time “survival” of lunar probes. However, Chang’e 4 successfully overcame the problems of insufficient sunlight and low temperature at the lunar night as it provides heat constantly to the probes.
A lunar day and night equals around 28 days on the earth. On the first lunar day, the Lander and Rover of Chang’e 4 completed the mission smoothly, and started up scientific loads to carry out the scientific exploration tasks successfully and many scientific exploration missions had been launched by many countries and organizations. The panoramic camera of the Lander took pictures of topographic and geomorphic conditions around the landing area to form a color panorama. On the second lunar day, the scientific loads on the Lander and Rover will engage in scientific exploration as planned.
Source: China Lunar Exploration Program