China’s lunar rover does what India’s Chandrayaan 2 is hoping to do on the Moon’s South Pole
China National Space Administration
- China lunar rover
Yutu 2, has discovered a new 'gel-like' substance inside one of the craters of the Moon.
- The discovery has Yutu 2 moving at a record pace of three steps a day.
Chandrayaan 2is hoping for similar discoveries on the Moon's South Pole.
- Chandrayaan 2's lunar lander and rover, Vikram and Pragyan, are aiming to uncover new elements among the craters on the Moon's South Pole.
The Chinese space agency describes it as a 'gel with mysterious lustre'.
Yutu 2 was actually on its way to its 'midday nap' when the Beijing Aerospace Control Center noticed something glistening in the crater. Now, Yutu 2 is moving at its fastest ever pace — three steps a day — towards the object to examine it further.
China isn't the only country looking for previously undiscovered elements on the Moon by exploring regions that no country's ever been to before.
India's Chandrayaan 2 is on a similar mission — but at the Moon's South Pole.
India's mission to find exotic materials
India's lunar lander and rover, Pragyan and Vikram, are also hoping to chance upon new elements as it heads towards craters, where the shadowed regions have been protected from sunlight for millions of years.
Because sunlight is limited, the temperatures in these areas can dip as far as -230 degrees Celsius — cold traps that should contain water and ice from comets, meteorites and solar wind induced iron reduction.
"Scientists are expecting some exotic stuff that will have far reaching applications on the high tech industry," Chaitanya Giri, a fellow for space and ocean studies at Gateway House told Business Insider.
NASA scientists assume that the uppermost surface of the Moon has been continuously getting reworked over the past thousand years.
Even if scientists don't any new elements, they're hoping that since the areas are so preserved — they might reveal fossil records from the early Solar System.
The Moon's South Pole is uncharted territory — no other country has attempted to explore particular area because the amount of craters make it a risky landing. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan admitted that Chandrayaan's 2's soft landing on the moon will be the "15 most terrifying minutes" for the ground team.
Vikram will separate from Chandrayaan 2's orbiter today at noon is expected to touch down on the lunar surface on 7 September 2019.
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