China created history when it decided to explore the hidden potential of the far side of the Moon. It was a totally new concept and the country successfully landed its Jade Rabbit-2 inside the Von Kármán crater. The rover went aboard the lunar explorer Chang'e-4, which launched in December 2018 and touched down at the south pole on January 4. It was a challenge to NASA who had sent the first man to the Moon 50 years ago and has now shown renewed interest in returning there.

Daily Mail UK reports Jade Rabbit-2 has spent 10 weeks on the Moon and journeyed 534 feet, apart from studying “a big rock.". The lunar rover is a robot meant to carry out pre-programmed tasks. It was busy for three lunar days and each such day is equivalent to 14 days on Earth. There is a hibernating period inbuilt in the system.

Severe temperature fluctuations

The atmosphere on the Moon is hostile with severe fluctuations in temperatures. The night can experience temperatures of around -180°C (-292°F) while during the day it can become unbearable. To counter such extremes, there are “insulating” components used on external sides of the lander and lunar rover to maintain the probe's temperature to under 55 degrees Celsius. Solar energy is used to power the spacecraft and it has to switch off its systems during the night when there is no sunlight.

The design life of Jade Rabbit-2 is for three months but it could remain effective much longer. Daily Mail UK says it's capable of moving at speeds of 20 meters per hour, or 5.55 centimeters per second. However, its speed is restricted to "two centimeters per second" to ensure safety. China's National Space Administration (CNSA) says that the current mission “lifted the mysterious veil” from the far side of the moon.

China can make a difference

According to Global Chinadaily, the CNSA has done a commendable job by positioning its lunar rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2 on the Moon. The rover has supplied information to scientists on the ground and the administration is hopeful that the equipment will continue to operate beyond its three-month design life. It is a lightweight device weighing 135-kg and can claim to be the lightest to reach the moon.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics are the most important tools of today. They will give shape to activities related to other missions to the Moon and Mars.

Right now, the attention of the world is on the Moon. China’s Jade Rabbit-2 is already there and NASA is gearing up to send across humans while Elon Musk watches from the sidelines with his SpaceX. Relocation of humans will be one of the steps to move onto the next target, Mars.

The American space agency has announced the discovery of water-ice which is a major positive to plan for the future.

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