If the Chinese lunar Rover “WiTu-2” to survive the third lunar night?

The lander and Rover of the Chinese mission “Chang’e-4” was transferred to the sleep mode in connection with the onset of the third for them to moonlit nights. As the portal Space News, referring to the center of the Lunar program of China, 140-pound lunar Rover “WiTu-2” went into hibernation in the second half of this week, breaking to the point 163 meters of the lunar surface crater Background Pocket. Thus, since its landing on the surface of the back side of the satellite on 3 January, the spacecraft reached the boundaries of their intended lifespan of three months.

Previous lunar Rover “WiTu-1”, stranded in the crater Imbrium on the near side of the moon during the mission “Chaney-3”, sent to the Earth on 3 December 2013, was able to move on the lunar surface at 114 meters. After that the device has been disabled — short circuit in one of its computer circuits that occurred during the second day of the moon, left him immobilized. However, the Rover continued its work in a stationary mode until the middle of 2016.

If by the end of the third lunar night all systems of the Rover “WiTu-2” will remain in working condition, the team plans to continue collecting scientific data on the moon’s surface during the fourth lunar day. Chinese experts is very hopeful, because the unit is in good condition.

In the third day of activity on the surface of the back side of the satellite “UTU-2” was able to cover a distance of 43 meters, continuing to move in the direction of the North-West from the landing site to the region, which was recently named by the International astronomical Union as a “Statio Tianhe” (“Tianhe” in Chinese means “milky Way“, and Statio in Latin it means “the base”). In this case, from February 28 to March 3 lunar Rover has covered just 7 meters of the lunar surface, as most of the time he was engaged in the analysis of 20-cm sample of lunar soil, which is noticed earlier. The study object was done using an infrared-optical spectrometer. It is noted that in the future it will allow scientists to determine the origin of the upper layer of the lunar surface.
In the period from 3rd to 10th March “UTU-2” was also transferred to the regime of temporary hibernation as a precaution in connection with the increase in solar background radiation and ambient temperature over the landing site – 186-kilometer crater Background Pocket that are part of the largest lunar crater Pool South pole — Aitken.

The lander “Chang’e-4” for a few minutes before the “UTU-2” in sleep mode has also been translated into hibernation. It is expected that both spacecraft will be in an inactive state for two weeks until March 28, while the third will last them a lunar night.

During the first lunar night, the lander has collected and transmitted to Earth data about the temperature on the back side of the satellite. It turned out that it drops to -190 degrees Celsius. For protection against extreme low temperatures, both machines put their solar panels, but also include radioisotope generators that protect them from icing.

Since the reverse side of the moon never turns to the Earth, communication between the lander, the lunar Rover and the ground control center is via satellite “, Zhuazao”, which is located behind the Moon near the second Lagrange point L2.

Earlier this month, the satellite conducted the first test of the antenna of the tool NCLE (Netherlands-China Low-Frequency Explorer) designed to search for low frequency radio emission from the early Universe. Also in March it is planned to evaluate the distance between the satellite and ground-based Observatory, located in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. Lasers Observatory will be directed to the “Zhuazao”, which will reflect the received signal using the installed retroreflecting system.

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