Scientists associated with Center for Lunar Science and Exploration that is part of NASA's Solar System Exploration Institute have found an old piece of rock that could have blasted out of earth and landed on the moon from a lunar sample brought home by astronauts of Apollo 14. The rest mode was necessary due to the frigid nighttime temperatures on the lunar far side, which plunged as low as -310 degrees Fahrenheit.
China's Chang'e-4 probe, launched on Dec 8 in 2018, landed on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3.More news: Patterson Ton Adds to Sri Lanka's Agony on High Scoring Day
Earth's moon is tidally locked to the planet, meaning that the same side of the moon faces us at all times. Previously, the Chinese scientists had no data on exactly how cold it could be. "We still need more careful analysis", Zhang was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
China has launched a ground-breaking mission to land a spacecraft on the largely unexplored far side of the moon, demonstrating its growing ambitions as a space power to rival Russian Federation, the European Union and the US.
"It was a success, but Chang'e-3 was designed according to foreign temperature data", said Zhang.More news: Varadkar and Coveney set for crunch talks with European Union leaders
Though long-time low temperature provided a severe survival environment, the two devices had safely withstood their first lunar night using a sustainable isotopic heating supply.
Both rover and lander carry radioisotope heat sources to prevent them from freezing entirely during the long lunar nights.
Used for the first time in a Chinese spacecraft, the isotope thermoelectric generation technology to transform heat into power on Chang'e-4 is a prototype for future deep-space exploration, said Sun Zezhou, chief designer of the Chang'e-4 probe from CAST.
The scientific tasks of the Chang'e-4 mission include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveying the terrain and landforms, detecting the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure, and measuring neutron radiation and neutral atoms.More news: Mars more porous than thought, NASA's Curiosity rover finds