China’s Yutu 2 rover beams back stunning image after 3 years on moon’s far side

Time-lapse imaging of Yutu 2 progress across the lunar landscape. (Image credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

China’s Yutu 2 rover has returned a view of its path over three years of travels across the harsh environment of the moon’s far side.

The new images — released by Ourspace, a Chinese language science outreach channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration, in late February — give a sense of the rover’s winding journey. One image offers a panorama view looking back on Yutu 2’s most recent tracks, with the Chang’e 4 lander visible far in the distance. Yutu 2 touched down on the lunar far side in January 2019 atop the Chang’e 4 lander, making the pair the first spacecraft to land and operate on the moon’s hidden hemisphere.