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China’s rover is about to go to sleep for the long lunar night.
According to Wu Fenglei of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, the lander will “go to sleep” at about 7 a.m. on Christmas Day and the moon rover, Jade Rabbit, will fall asleep at about 1 a.m. on Boxing Day. The forthcoming lunar night, expected to begin on Dec. 26, will last for about two weeks, experts with the center estimated. During their “sleep”, both lander and rover will have to tolerate minus 180 degrees Celsius. Scientists tested the lander early Tuesday to ensure it can stand the temperature drop. Both lander and rover are stable, said Wu, adding they have completed a series of scientific tasks in the past two days.
This report states the rover landed in Sinus Iridum, the original announced landing site, contradicting other reports that said the lander came down in Mare Imbrium.