BEIJING, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The moon rover and lander of China's Chang'e 3 lunar probe mission will "sleep" during the lunar night, enduring extreme low temperatures on the lunar surface.
According to Wu Fenglei of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, the lander will "go to sleep" at about 7 a.m. on Christmas Day and the moon rover, Jade Rabbit, will fall asleep at about 1 a.m. on Boxing Day.
The forthcoming lunar night, expected to begin on Dec. 26, will last for about two weeks, experts with the center estimated. During their "sleep", both lander and rover will have to tolerate minus 180 degrees Celsius. Scientists tested the lander early Tuesday to ensure it can stand the temperature drop.
Both lander and rover are stable, said Wu, adding they have completed a series of scientific tasks in the past two days.
Chang'e-3 soft-landed on the moon's Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, on Dec. 14, establishing China as the third country to carry out such a mission after the United States and Soviet Union.
Yutu, the rover, 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.
China's moon rover flexes muscles
BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's moon rover, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), completed an arm flexing assessment early on Monday, a key test before beginning other work on the surface, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
The trial checked the rover is in the best condition to endure extreme temperatures of minus 180 degrees Celsius in the first moonlight night, said Zhou Jianliang, chief engineer with the center. Full story
China's moon rover continues lunar survey after photographing lander
BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's first moon rover, Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, continued patrol explorations on the lunar surface after taking photos of the lander for the fifth and final time early on Sunday.
According to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), images transmitted to the ground after the latest photos were captured showed for the first time the national flags on both Yutu and the lander. Full story
China's Yutu "naps", awakens and explores
BEIJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's moon rover, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), continued exploring after a "nap", according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence on Friday.
At about 8:00 p.m. Beijing Time, the six-wheeled rover started moving again after shutting down its subsystems on Dec. 16. Full story
Xi Jinping congratulates Chang'e-3 mission's complete success
BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated the complete success of Chang'e-3 mission that achieved the country's first moon softlanding Sunday night at Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).
Xi and other officials shook hands with staff members at the control center, extending greetings to all participants of the mission. Full story
China announces Chang'e-3 mission "complete success"
BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Ma Xingrui, chief commander of China's lunar program, announced on Sunday night Chang'e-3 mission a "complete success", after the lander and moon rover successfully took pictures of each other. Full story
Backgrounder: China's "triple jump" progress in lunar probes
Backgrounder: Timeline of China's lunar program
Special Report: China's lunar explorations
Graphics: Launch procedure of Chang'e-3 lunar probe