The new colonial movement: Engineers have reactivated both Yutu-2 and Chang’e-4 to begin their 28th lunar day on the far side of the Moon.
The article, from China’s state-run press, provides only one real tidbit of information, that Yutu-2 has now traveled 429 meters (1,378 feet) from the landing site. They still have about a mile to go to reach their next big geological target, which should take years at the pace the rover is setting.
Both spacecraft though have been unmitigated successes. Their nominal mission had been to survive three lunar day-night cycles, about 90 Earth days. They have survived 28, or more than two years since landing in January 2019.
This success suggests that China’s Mars rover has a good chance of doing as well. Its planned mission length is also 90 days, similar to the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, both of which lasted many years.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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