NASA cooperates with China on moon exploration

Chang'e 4 checks out the far side of the moon.                  China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

Chang'e 4 checks out the far side of the moon. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

The lander is also equipped with an isotope thermoelectric cell and dozens of temperature data collectors to measure the temperatures on the surface of the moon during the lunar night, the report said.

The Chinese lander Chang'e 4 and its rover, Yutu 2 (Jade Rabbit 2), woke from dormant, power-saving modes at the end of January and beamed back data suggesting that temperatures there had plummeted to minus 310 F (minus 190 C), according to an Agence France-Presse report.

China's Chang'e 4 mission has been a rousing success for the country's space agency, and it's already celebrated a number of 'firsts, ' including being the first lander to perform a soft landing on the far side of the Moon.

Presently, the rover is located about 60 feet (18 meters) northwest of the lander.

The country made history on January 3 when the Chang'e 4 lunar probe landed in Von Karman crater on the moon's mysterious far side.

The two devices had successfully completed their mission during the first lunar day (approximately 28 earth days), including sending the first photo of the moon's far side.

The Caribbean Astronomy Society experts also explained that "extreme temperatures are experienced on the dark side of the Moon".

They were lower than those recorded by previous United States missions to the near side of the moon, Zhang He, executive director of the Chang´e-4 mission, told Xinhua news agency. Previously, Chinese scientists had no data on exactly how cold it could be.

NASA said it discussed in the past month with China to explore the possibility of observing a signature of the landing plume of Chang'e-4, as in a manner similar to what was done for Chang'e-3. They were put to sleep as night fell roughly two weeks ago at the mission's Von Kármán Crater landing site.

Both rover and lander carry radioisotope heat sources to prevent them from freezing entirely during the long lunar nights. These include the first "low frequency radio astronomy experiment", an investigation into whether plants can grow in a low gravity environment and if interaction between solar winters and the lunar surface exists.

The probe will now continue with it´s experiments, CNSA said.

The Chang'e-4 mission embodies China's hope to combine human wisdom in space exploration, with four payloads developed by the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

"It is a technology that we must master if we want to go to the moon's polar regions or farther than Jupiter into deep space, where solar power can not be used as the primary power source", he said.

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