The object first appeared in Yutu 2’s field of view in December, when it appeared as a cube-shaped mist on the horizon. The rover is the first to explore the far side of the Moon, which is always heading away from Earth. The far side of the moon is rougher and contains more craters than the visible side of the moon. Because the object appeared irregularly shaped, with an oddly flat top, researchers with the China National Space Administration’s program, Our Space, joked that it might be the astronauts’ hut.
Now that the rover has sent close-up images back to Earth a month later, it turns out that the rock is much smaller than what it first appeared from afar. The rock is also rounder and “gentleer,” making it reminiscent of researchers of a crouching rabbit chewing some carrots (which are actually smaller rocks).
Now that rabbit rock has been cataloged, Yutu 2 continues its exploration of the 186-kilometre wide Von Kármán Crater. The rover has been exploring the region since the Chang’e 4 lunar lander delivered it to the lunar surface during the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon in January 2019. Chang’e 4 is already China’s fourth mission to the moon. Moon, the second with a thief. The first mission with such a robotic pocket was Chang’e 3, which explored the front of the Moon, the part of the Moon that we can see from Earth.
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