CHINA’S MOON LANDER WAKES UP FROM ITS LONG, ULTRA-COLD NIGHT | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


CHINA’S MOON LANDER WAKES UP FROM ITS LONG, ULTRA-COLD NIGHT

WE ALREADY KNOW it’s chilly on the moon. A lunar night lasts 14 Earth days, and its temperatures can dip into a cold so punishing it makes the polar vortex look like a hot tub. But yesterday, China’s space agency announced that the frigidity of the lunar night is even more intense than we’d thought: The country’s Chang’e 4 spacecraft recorded an icy low of –310 degrees Fahrenheit (–190 degrees Celsius).

Consisting of a stationary lander and a six-wheeled rover named Yutu-2, Chang’e 4 landed on the far side of the moon earlier this month—a first for any spacecraft. During its first lunar night, Chang’e 4 went into hibernation, relying on internal heat sources to survive.

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