China’s moon rover Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, has awakened from its celestial ‘nap’ and is continuing to explore the lunar surface and send back photos. Scientists have now pieced together the rover’s first panoramic picture that was taken from Chang’e-3’s landing spot.
The picture is made up of 60 photos taken by the rover using three different angles. The panoramic view shows an even surface around the rover and a large impact crater about 10 meters away. Researchers say that it’s the first time ever an unmanned lunar probe automatically moved away from the pitfall. Take that Lunik.
China’s Chang’e-3 probe made a soft landing on the moon’s surface Sinus Iridum, or Bay of Rainbows, on December 14 and its rover Yutu successfully separated itself early the next morning.
The rover had taken a brief “nap” by shutting down its subsystems on December 16, but researchers have said it’s up and rolling again.
“The break had been planned to last until Dec. 23, but the scientists decided to restart Yutu now for more research time, based on the recent observations and telemetry parameters,” said Pei Zhaoyu, a spokesman for the lunar program.
Yutu will survey the moon’s surface to look for natural resources for three months, and the lander will conduct stationary observation from its landing site for one year.
We hope it brings back moon dust.