China moon rover 'Jade Rabbit' wakes from 'nap'

China's lunar rover Yutu-2 or Jade Rabbit 2 rolling onto the far side of the moon taken by the Chang'e-4 lunar probe is seen in this image provided by China National Space Administrati

The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side - or the "dark side" - is never visible from Earth.

Chang'e-4 landed within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin, the largest and deepest impact crater in the solar system.

The picture shows the grey moonscape, the lander and the rover with the track marks it left behind.

This picture released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) via CNS shows a 360 degree panoramic image made by China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe on the far side of the moon.

Compared with the landing site of the Chang'e-3, which was sent to the Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, on the Moon's near side, fewer rocks can be found in the area surrounding Chang'e-4, indicating the landing area of Chang'e-4 might be older, China's Xinhua news agency quoted Li as saying.

Scientists have said the far side is a key area for solving several unknowns about the moon, including its internal structure and thermal evolution.

China on Friday hailed its historic mission to the far side of the moon as a "complete success" so far but said new challenges await its rover as it explores rugged terrain.

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Temperatures were expected to reach up to 200 degrees Celsius, but authorities from the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) said that the Yutu 2 rover, the lander and its relay satellite all survived the heat blast safely.

An image of the Yutu 2 rover taken by the Chang'e lander.

"The information from the depths of the Moon will be one of our focuses in the exploration", Li said.

The pictures, shown on the state broadcaster CCTV, showed the Jade Rabbit 2 rover and the Chang'e 4 spacecraft that transported it during the first soft landing on the side of the moon that always faces away from Earth.

The space administration also released a 12-minute video of Chang'e 4's landing utilizing more than 4,700 images taken by an onboard camera.

Now that Chang'e 4 snapped some footage, CNSA aims to conduct low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveys of moon landforms, measure neutron radiation, and detect mineral composition.

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