China’s lunar rover makes history with record distance traveled on moon’s far side

GUANGDONG, China, Aug 25 (Reuters) – China’s Yutu-2 lunar rover has set a new record for the longest distance traveled by a rover on the far side of the moon, state media Xinhua reported on Thursday.

The rover has covered 1,023 meters (3,356 feet) since landing on the moon’s relatively unexplored dark side in January 2019, Xinhua said, citing the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft, including the Yutu-2 rover, made the first-ever soft landing on the moon’s far side, also known as the dark side, on Jan. 3, 2019.

The dark side of the moon faces away from Earth and is therefore not visible from our planet. It is also the first time any rover has landed on the moon’s far side.

The Yutu-2 rover, named after the Chinese mythological rabbit that lives on the moon, was designed to operate for three months, but has far exceeded its life expectancy.

It has conducted scientific experiments, including taking panoramic photos and collecting data on the moon’s surface composition and radiation levels.

The rover’s success is a major milestone for China’s ambitious lunar exploration program, which aims to eventually send humans to the moon.

China has been investing heavily in its space program in recent years, and has already landed a rover on Mars and returned samples from the moon.

The country is also planning to build a permanent space station in orbit around Earth, and has expressed interest in sending astronauts to the moon by 2030.

The Yutu-2 rover’s record-breaking journey is a testament to China’s growing prowess in space exploration, and is likely to pave the way for even more ambitious missions in the future..

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