Wednesday, March 6, 2019

China to Open Chang'e-4 Lunar Probe Data to the World

China's Chang'e-4 lunar mission. Credit: Xinhua

China will gradually open data collected by the Chang'e-4 lunar probe to the world, the country's lunar program chief designer said.

Wu Weiren, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, made the statement in his capacity as a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body, on the sidelines of its annual session, which opened on Sunday.

The Chang'e-4 probe made the first-ever soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan. 3.

Wu said both the lander and the rover have been woken up from a "sleep mode" and are now collecting new data.

The lander woke up at 7:52 a.m. Friday, and the rover, Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2), awoke at about 10:51 a.m. Thursday. Both of them are in normal condition, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.

Wu added that China plans to launch the Chang'e-5 probe later this year to collect samples from the moon and bring them back to the earth and to launch a probe in 2020 to orbit, land and rove on Mars.

Credit: xinhuanet.com

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