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China's Yutu 2 rover spots 'mystery hut' on far side of Moon

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Beijing, Dec 5 (IANS) China’s Yutu 2 rover has spotted a mystery object on the horizon while working its way across Von Karman crater on the far side of the moon, media reports said.

Yutu 2 spotted a cube-shaped object on the horizon to the north and roughly 80 metres away in November during the mission’s 36th lunar day, according to a Yutu 2 diary published by Our Space, a Chinese language science outreach channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration (CNSA), Space.com reported.

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A likely explanation for the shape would be a large boulder which has been excavated by an impact event, the report said. Our Space referred to the object as a “mystery hut”, but this a placeholder name rather than an accurate description.

Yutu 2 is expected to spend the next 2-3 lunar days (2-3 Earth months) traversing lunar regolith and avoiding craters to get a closer look, so updates can be expected.

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The Chang’e 4 lander carrying the Yutu 2 rover touched down in Von Karman Crater on January 2, 2019 and in SeptemberA the solar-powered rover completed the 1,000-days mark on the Moon.

The rover has also rolled through the 186 kilometre Von Karman crater.

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Chang’e 4, like its name suggests, is China’s fourth moon mission and second to deliver a rover on the moon. The Chang’e 1 and 2 missions were orbiters, with Chang’e 3 landing on the near side of the moon with the first Yutu rover. China has also launched the Chang’e 5 T1 test mission around the moon and the Chang’e 5 moon sample return mission, the report said.

–IANS

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