HELSINKI — The Chang’e-4 lander and Yutu-2 have powered down for a third lunar nighttime on the far side of the moon, with the rover reaching its design lifetime.
The 140-kilogram Yutu-2 rover entered a sleep state at 12:16 a.m. Eastern Wednesday, according to the China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP), having reached a total drive distance of 163 meters across three lunar days in Von Kármán crater.
Yutu-2 has now reached its design lifetime of three months, having been deployed onto the surface of the moon shortly after the Chang’e-4 lunar far side landing on Jan. 2.
The first Yutu rover, which set down on Mare Imbrium on the near side of the moon as part of the Chang’e-3 mission launched in December 2013, managed to rove just 114 meters before a short circuit during its second lunar day left it unable to move. The rover continued to function while stationary until mid-2016.
With all systems and payloads operating well, the Yutu-2 team will continue roving and science data collection on lunar day 4 of the Chang’e-4 mission, according to a CLEP announcement (link in Chinese).
Yutu-2 added 43 meters to its overall drive distance in its third day of ...