Executive Intelligence Review


Chinese Rover Yutu-2 Prepares for the Lunar Day and Night on the Far Side

Jan. 8, 2019 (EIRNS)—Chinese engineers are preparing Yutu-2 to survive the extreme temperatures on the Moon, during both day and night. As we know, the “dark” far side receives the same two weeks of sunshine as the near side, and without an atmosphere to moderate the temperature, it gets extremely hot.

Yutu-2 has been placed in standby mode, to protect itself from the 200° Centigrade daytime heat, the China National Space Agency announced. It will resume exploring on Jan. 10. But two days later, the rover will prepare itself to survive the two-week lunar night, when temperatures will drop to -180°C. The rover will fold up its solar arrays to act as a blanket. In 2014, on the near side, the Yutu rover became immobilized after only one lunar day, most likely as a result of being unable to cope with the extreme temperature. During the two-week night, the Chang’e-4 lander, which has a small radioisotope thermoelectric generator producing some heat, will be capable of limited function.

Zhang Yuhua, deputy chief commander and designer of the mission, told Chinese state media that the Yutu-2 rover’s next activity will be to travel to the front side of the lander and image the craft. The three 5-meter antennas of the low-frequency spectrometer for pioneering astronomy have been deployed, and will be visible in images the rover will take of the front of the lander. After that, the rover will go to its planned area and start a series of scientific exploration projects, as the scientists had planned, Zhang said.

Engineers have tested the scientific payloads aboard both the lander and rover, and communication with the relay satellite, all of which are functioning as expected.