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China’s Chang’e-4 probe resumes work for 22nd lunar day

The lander and rover of the Chang’e-4 probe have resumed work for the 22nd lunar day on the far side of the moon.

The lander woke up at 5:15 a.m. on Saturday (Beijing time), and the rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, woke up at 11:54 a.m. on Friday, sources with the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration said.

The Chang’e-4 probe, launched on Dec. 8, 2018, made the first-ever soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan. 3, 2019.

A lunar day is equal to 14 days on Earth, and a lunar night is of the same length. The Chang’e-4 probe, switching to dormant mode during the lunar night due to the lack of solar power, has survived about 618 Earth days on the moon.

According to the center, Yutu-2 will move northwest toward the basalt area or the impact craters with high reflectivity during the 22nd lunar day. Scientific instruments such as a panoramic camera, infrared imaging spectrometer, neutral atom detector, as well as lunar radar on the rover will carry out scientific detection.

The solar-powered rover has far exceeded its three-month design lifespan, becoming the longest-working lunar rover on the moon.

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