Category Archives: CNSA

LROC Sees Yutu

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A Before and After image of the area of the Chinese Chang’e lander (large white dot in the center of the second image) and Yutu rover (smaller white dot below the lander). The individual images were taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle Camera. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took a before and after image of the area where China set down the rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit). The before and after shots are what you see above.

The distance from camera to rover is about 150 km / 93 miles. The rover itself is only 150 cm / 5 feet. Apparently the reason it shows up, because the pixel size in the image is also 150 cm, is the solar panels reflect light efficiently and the shadow is evident. NASA tells all about the image below.

Hopefully we will get to see if the rover moves about in the future.

From NASA:

Chang’e 3 landed on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) just east of a 450 m diameter impact crater on 14 December 2013. Soon after landing, a small rover named Yutu (or Jade Rabbit in English) was deployed and took its first tentative drive onto the airless regolith. At the time of the landing LRO’s orbit was far from the landing site so images of the landing were not possible. Ten days later on 24 December, LRO approached the landing site, and LROC was able to acquire a series of six LROC Narrow Angle Camera ( NAC ) image pairs during the next 36 hours (19 orbits). The highest resolution image was possible when LRO was nearly overhead on 25 December 03:52:49 UT (24 December 22:52:49 EST). At this time LRO was at an altitude of ~150 km above the site, and the pixel size was 150 cm.
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