China’s Chang’e 4 lander and Yutu 2 rover have captured new images on their successful mission to explore the far side of the moon as the duo looks to extend their study to a fifth lunar day.
On the moon, the cycle of day and night is nearly 30 Earth-days in total, with each lasting about two weeks long.
The new images captured from the rover, Yutu 2 and released this month, offer up more of the mission’s journey after a first round of pictures was released after their arrival on the 115-mile wide Von Kármán Crater in January.
Objectives of the lander and rover mission — the first-ever to target exploration of the moon’s far side — include analyzing chemical differences between the Earth-facing side of the moon and the mission’s target area.
As reported by the Planetary Society, no hard science regarding the Chang’e 4’s mission has emerged yet, but scientists involved with the project said the surveyed area shows ‘potential evidence of excavated deep mafic material, which could reveal the mineralogy of the lunar mantle.’
The far side of the moon, which is the hemisphere that always faces away from Earth, has yet to be explored by any such missions before and like its Earth-visible counterpart, the location experiences intervals of two weeks of sunlight and two weeks of darkness.