At the beginning of December, the Chinese rover saw Yutu 2 on the horizon of the moon strange cube formation That caught the attention of half the world. After a massive effort to get close, mission controllers discovered that it was indeed a rock.
Previously known as “神秘” (mysterious hut), the little rock was renamed “玉兔” (jade rabbit), in honor of the rabbit who lives on the moon according to Chinese mythology. I don’t know if it looks like a bunny, but it’s definitely smaller than it looks.
The rock, which is probably of basaltic origin, is located on the edge of a crater, so it stands out on the horizon. The moon’s local horizon is much closer to the terrestrial horizon, and its lack of atmosphere makes things look much clearer. And above all, the resolution of the enlarged image was not the best.
If we look at it closely, there is no doubt: it is a rock and not a strange building. These types of rocks that protrude from the landscape are relatively common and are usually the result of the impacts of meteorites that cause them to stand out or are released elsewhere. But people wanted to believe…
The mystery was aggravated by the fact that Yutu 2 could not immediately approach the rock. The rover must stop frequently while it explores the lunar surface. During the day, it needs a break to avoid overheating in the hours when the sun hits it directly. During the two-week lunar night, it needs to shut down to conserve the power of the solar panels until the sun rises again, not to mention that the craft is moving through difficult terrain that it must rotate slowly to avoid any damage. Unfortunate ruin the job.
Close-up images of the mysterious object were not expected to arrive for two months, but the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA) “made their minds” to arrive faster than they promised. after complete analysis From energy, thermal control, motion performance, and ground conditions, mission controllers have devised a range of effective motion strategies to reach the rocks.
Yutu 2 in January 2019 became the first robot in perch on the other side of the moon. Two years later, he covered 1003.9 metres. There is nothing better to celebrate your first kilometer than to solve a puzzle of global scale.