Categories: ChinaMissionsMoon

Incredible Descent Video of the Chinese Lander to the Lunar Far Side

On January 2nd, 2019, China’s Chang’e-4 lander made a successful landing on the far side of the Moon. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) report that after 9 days on the surface, the mission is in good shape. The Yutu-2 rover has been deployed and has begun exploring the Von Karman crater.

CNSA has released some video of the mission, including a video of Chang’e-4’s historic descent. Thanks to the hard-working people at the Planetary Society, and to Andrew Jones who reports on the Chinese Space Program, we have a handful of new videos and images of the Chang’e-4’s mission to enjoy.

The first video shows Chang’e-4’s descent into the Von Karman crater. The CLEP chose the crater as its landing site because of the crater’s depth. Von Karman is a crater-within-a-crater, and it’s possible that the impact event blasted away the crust and exposed some of the Moon’s mantle. The CLEP is using Chang’e-4 to examine the chemical and geological nature of the area, and to try and discover more about the Moon’s formation and interior.

The video is sped up, and the views-cape makes it hard to determine exactly how close the lander is to the surface. There’s nothing for reference, and there’s no way to tell how large the craters are. It’s only at about 2:10 in the video that you can determine how close to the surface Chang’e-4 is, when the thrusters blow dust around.


Chang’e-4’s descent into Von Kármán crater on 3 January 2019, captured with
Chang’e-4’s Landing Camera (LCAM). Credit: CNSA / CLEP

Next are two videos of the Yutu-2 rover on the far side of the Moon. The first one shows the rover leaving the lander.

Yutu-2 travelling down the ramp from the Chang’e-4 lander. Credit: CNSA/CLEP

The next video shows Yutu-2 travelling on the lunar surface after deployment.

Yutu-2 on the lunar surface after initial deployment. Credit: CNSA/CLEP

There are also some images of the mission: one of the rover, one of the lander, and the mission’s first panoramic image.

Yutu-2 as imaged by the Chang’e-4’s Terrain Camera (TCAM) Image Credit: CNSA/CLEP
The Chang’e-4 lander, as captured by Yutu-2’s Panoramic Camera (PCAM). Image Credit: CNSA/CLEP
A 360 degree panoramic image of the landing site, including wheel-marks leading away from the lander to the recently-deployed rover. Image Credit: CNSA/CLEP

Reporter Andrew Jones also tweeted this picture, showing the lander, the rover, and it’s path so far.

For Universe Today’s coverage of this historic mission to the far side of the Moon, try these:

Universe Today would like to thank the Planetary Society and reporter Andrew Jones of the GBTimes for their work on the Chang’e-4 mission.

Sources:

Evan Gough

Recent Posts

Asteroids Somehow Migrated Past Jupiter During the Solar System’s Early History

In baseball, players receive a Gold Glove award if they show outstanding fielding play throughout…

26 mins ago

An exoplanet has been found for the first time using radio telescopes

Astronomers have found an extrasolar planet around a main sequence star. Which isn't a big…

8 hours ago

Neutron stars of different masses can make a real mess when they collide

When neutron stars collide, they go out with a tremendous bang, fueling an explosion up…

11 hours ago

Why Can Black Hole Binaries Have Dramatically Different Masses? Multiple Generations of Mergers

Black hole mergers with very different masses tell us how small mergers can give rise…

13 hours ago

A Globular Cluster was Completely Dismantled and Turned Into a Ring Around the Milky Way

An international team of astronomers discovered some surprising when studying a debris ring around our…

1 day ago

Newly forming star has spiral arms like a tiny galaxy

Protoplanetary disks - where young stars are forming their families of planets - usually form…

1 day ago