“Mysterious hut”: Chinese moon rover is supposed to explore a striking object

The Chinese moon rover Jadehase 2 (Yutu 2, 玉兔 二號) is still active almost three years after landing and is now supposed to explore a mysterious object that was discovered in photos on the horizon. An online portal connected to the Chinese space agency speaks of a “mysterious hut”, quoted the South China Morning Post from Hong Kong. In fact, a conspicuous, apparently cubic object can be made out in the attached photo, which protrudes prominently over the horizon. It is likely to be a boulder that is the remains of an impact. The rover should now investigate this more closely. The prominent object is therefore about 80 meters away from the rover.

Yutu 2 was brought to the moon by the Chang’e 4 probe, both of which were the first probes ever to land on the remote side of the satellite in early 2019. Since then, the rover has been exploring the area at Aitken crater near the south pole of the moon. The mission was considered to be particularly demanding because no direct communication with the instruments is possible from Earth. For this reason, China had positioned the transmission satellite Queqiao (Bridge of Magpies) months beforehand in order to be able to send signals from the radio shadow. In the meantime, the Jade Bunny 2 has long since broken all possible records and is by far the vehicle that has been active on the moon for the longest time.

In view of the discovery that has now been made public quotes the newspaper from Hong Kong told a person in charge in China, “This thing is really interesting. We should investigate it.” This will keep the rover busy for a while. It is only active during the lunar day, it lasts 14 earth days. During the night, which is just as long, it is put into a sleep mode. According to reports, those responsible in China have initially planned two lunar days for a detailed examination of the object, but whether that will be enough remains to be seen. The Jade Hare 2 advances about one meter per earth day.


(mho)

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