China’s Chang’e-4 Probe Wakes Up After First Lunar Night

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The rover and the lander of China’s Chang’e-4 probe have been awakened by sunlight after a long “sleep” during their first extremely cold night on the Moon, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Thursday.

The CNSA revealed that the lander woke up at 8.39pm Wednesday and the rover, Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2), awoke at about 8pm on Tuesday, surviving their first lunar night after making the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon, Xinhua news agency reported.

A lunar day equals 14 days on Earth and a lunar night is the same length.

The Chang’e-4 probe switched to a dormant mode during the lunar night due to the lack of solar power.

Both the lander and the rover ended the dormant mode automatically according to the elevation angle of the sunlight. And the key instruments on the probe have started to work.

China’s Chang’e-4 probe, launched on December 8, landed on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on January 3.

Currently, the rover is located about 18 metres northwest of the lander. Communication and data transmission between ground control and the probe via the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge) are stable, the CNSA said.

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