Earlier this month the China National Space Administration released hundreds of spectacular images taken from the lunar rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) and Chang’e lander which touched down on the moon over two years ago.
The images were taken in December 2013 by cameras installed on the Chang’e 3 lander and Yutu rover which made the first soft-landing on the moon in 37 years, becoming the third nation to do so after the US and former Soviet Union.
While anyone can make an account with the Science and Application Center for Moon and Deepspace Exploration and download the photos themselves, the actual process is reportedly less than smooth to go through.
Fortunately for us, Emily Lakdawalla from Planetary Society has painstakingly gone through the database and his hosting some of the images on the society’s website.
Yutu suffered during the cold lunar night and encountered mobility issues before entering several periods of dormancy in early 2014. The rover retained the ability to collect data and transmit data up until March of 2015.
China has announced that it is planning to perform another soft-landing on the moon in 2017 with the Chang’e 5 probe. The mission aim is for the probe to return to earth with lunar samples.
[Images via China National Space Administration // Emily Lakdawalla]