The temperatures on the surface of the moon dropped by 190 degrees Celsius (-310 degrees Fahrenheit) during the first moonlight of the probe, which was "cooler than expected by scientists," says the National Space Administration (CNSA)
BEIJING, China – A Chinese Lunar Landing Machine has woken up from frosty 14-minute winter sleep to find out that night temperatures on the dark side of the moon are colder than previously thought, the National Astronautics Agency said Thursday.
The Chang-e-4 probe, named after the Chinese Moon goddess, became the first gentle landing on the far side of January 3, a major step in the Chinese ambitions of becoming the superpower of the universe.
The temperatures on the surface of the moon dropped to 190 degrees Fahrenheit (-310 degrees Fahrenheit) during the first Monday night of the probe, which was "colder than the scientists expected," said the National Space Administration (CNSA).
The temperature of the night was recorded by the Chinese probe after it became active on Wednesday, after sleep, which lasted about two weeks.
They were lower than those recorded in previous US missions on the near side of the month, said Zhang He, Chang-e-4's Executive Director, Xinhua News Agency.
"This is probably due to the difference in the composition of lunar soils between the two sides of the moon," he said.
Rover released from the probe – called Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit) after the domestic animal of the moon – also resumed operations "on schedule" on January 29 and will attempt craters Von Karman, CNSA said in a statement.
Chang e-4 is equipped with tools developed by scientists from Sweden, Germany and China.
Its task is to study the lunar environment, cosmic rays and the interaction of the solar wind with the lunar surface.
The probe will continue to experiment, says CNSA.
Scientists on board the previous Chinese mission Chang & e-3, sent late in 2013, will last more than 60 lunar nights and are still in service, Xinhua said. – Rappler.com