China's lunar rover sets record for longest operation

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China's lunar rover sets record for longest operation -

Photo taken by the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe on Jan. 11, 2019 shows the rover Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2). [Photo/Xinhua/China National Space Administration]

China's lunar rover Yutu 2 has set the record for operating the longest among rovers on the moon, with over 11 months so far, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.

The Chinese rover landed with the Chang'e-4 probe in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3, 2019, and carried out its patrol missions since then.

Yutu-2 has driven 345.059 meters on the far side of the moon to conduct scientific exploration of virgin territory. Driving slowly but steadily, Yutu 2 is expected to continue traveling on the moon and making more scientific discoveries.

Both the lander and the rover of the Chang'e-4 probe have ended their work for the 12th lunar day, and switched to dormant mode for the lunar night on Dec 3. A lunar day equals 14 days on Earth, a lunar night is the same length.

Before Yutu 2, the former Soviet Union's Lunokhod 1 moon rover that landed on moon in 1970 held the record for the longest operational rover with 321 days, or 10 and half months.

Chang'e-3, China's first lunar lander which touched down on the moon on Dec 14, 2013, has been operating on the moon for six years, the longest time for an active probe. It has been awakened on Dec 7 to work for the 75th lunar day.

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