China’s moon rover performs first lunar probe

Beijing, Jan 15: China’s moon rover “Yutu”, or Jade Rabbit, completed its first scientific exploration of lunar soil Tuesday, the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) said.

The rover used its mechanical arm to survey the lunar soil at 9:45 p.m., following instructions from the control centre, Xinhua reported citing a BACC statement.

The exploration lasted about half an hour and every operation was precisely performed by the rover, it said.

“Accuracy control of the mechanical arm at a distance of 380,000 km has been realised in the probe, making China’s breakthrough in controlling a mechanical arm with high precision on the lunar surface,” said Wu Fenglei of the BACC.

The rover completed an arm flexing assessment Dec 23, a key test before beginning the soil survey and other work on the surface, said the centre.

Yutu will survey the moon’s geological structure and surface substances and look for natural resources for three months, while the lander will conduct in-situ exploration at the landing site for one year.

IANS