Yutu-2 and Chang’e-4 complete 16h lunar day on Moon

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China’s Yutu-2 rover and Chang’e-4 lander have now successfully completed their sixteenth lunar day on the far side of the Moon, and have been put into hibernation for the long lunar night.

This means that both spacecraft have now worked longer on the Moon than any previous mission.

The news report, from China’s state-run press, provides only one real piece of information: Yutu-2 has now traveled a total of 424.45 meters (1,393 feet), which means it traveled about 24 meters (79 feet) during this sixteenth lunar day.

Their goal is to reach a different geological area of basalt a little over a mile away, a journey they say will take about a year.

I question that time frame however. Yutu-2 has averaged about 88 feet travel per lunar day. To go a mile at that pace will take about sixty lunar days, which is equivalent to between four and five years. The difference might be because the information at the second link is a bit unclear, and that they hope to begin entering the basalt region much sooner.

We shall just have to wait and see.


One comment

  • Gealon

    88 feet…. over the period of about two weeks? Now that just seems glacially slow compared to the 100+ feet per Sol Opportunity was doing during her marathon run on Mars. I will admit I haven’t followed the Chinese program with anything resembling interest but now I have to ask, are they stopping at every pebble along the way? Last I checked, the Moon was a lot closer than Mars and they have a satellite bouncing communications to the space craft, so what could possibly be the bottleneck in getting the rover where they want to go? Even the two Lunakhods were cruising around up there with more alacrity than molasses trying to flow up hill.

    Completely unscientific I know, but I would like to see a race between the various rovers. I’d wager even little Sojourner could outpace Yutu, provided Pathfinder’s batteries don’t prematurely die in the middle of the race.

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