Christopher Brito – CBS News
China’s Yutu 2 rover has spotted a mysterious object described as a “hut” or “house” on the far side of the moon, according to a recent log of the lunar rover’s activities.
Yutu 2 encountered the cube-shaped object while driving across the Von Kármán crater last month during the mission’s 36th lunar day, according to a post published on “Our Space” — a Chinese media channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration — Space.com reported.
The rover, which landed on the far side of the moon in January 2019, sent back images of the object on the horizon. According to the post, the rover was located 80 meters away (about 262 feet) and is expected to reach the site in another two to three months of trekking.
Space.com pointed out that “mystery hut” is used as a placeholder name based on its appearance — it is not literally a hut. The site also offered a possible explanation for the object’s true origin: It could be a large boulder that was “excavated by an impact event.”
China landed Yutu 2 on the far side of the moon as part of its unmanned Chang’e 4 mission. The rover’s journey has involved hill-climbing and moving through rocky terrain in the Von Kármán crater.
The attention over the latest discovery comes as China has been accelerating its space program. In October, China launched a three-person crew for a six-month mission aboard its own space station, aiming to set a new record for the length of time spent in space by Chinese astronauts. Earlier this year, China successfully landed a solar-powered rover in Mars.
feature image – China National Space Administration