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Chang’e 4 Goes Dormant As It Gears Up For Lunar Night

China’s prestigious probe Chang’e 4 located on the far side of the moon that till now was sending interesting data about the region has become dormant for the fifth day in a row atop the deepest crater on the moon.  The moon faces day and night like the earth and there are no permanent dark sides that people perceive there to be. The moon’s full day is equivalent to earth’s 28 days and Chang’e 4 is located in that area of its surface that faces away from earth. The probe had landed on the moon during 2nd January this year and it is now fifth month of its stay.

Due to the long hours of its days theoretically it is fifth lunar day of its activity. The probe turns into dormant mode during lunar nights as it works on solar power and it will automatically shut down on its fifth lunar night. This is a historical mission as it was first one to successfully carry out a soft landing on the Von Karman Crater which is nearly 186 kms wide. Experts feel that exploration of this region could reveal several details about the interior of the moon and its history.

Both Chang’e-4 lunar probe and also its assistant Yutu-2 rover are in dormant state as per announcement made by official agency Xinhua as the mission is managed by China Lunar Exploration Program. Though the Yutu-2 rover mission had been designed for just three lunar days but it is extending more than planned like rover missions of NASA to Mars. Both the robots will have to undergo two weeks of frigid nights on the moon before they awaken again on the dawn of a new lunar day. Till date the rover has driven around 626 feet on the moon’s surface and has provided vital information along with instruments on Chang’e-4 like Panoramic Camera, Spectrometer and LPR instruments.

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