Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Six wheels on soil for Yutu!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

14-12-2013 15:28 CST

Topics: pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program, animation

Here is the Youtube video of the rover's deployment -- this was taped live, condensed in time, and replayed on Chinese state television. Scroll down for animated gifs!

Here it is! An animated gif, composed of screen grabs from Chinese state television, of the Yutu rover rolling on to the lunar surface. This was a replay; the actual rollout happened at 20:40 UT (12:40 PT). Six wheels on soil! Woohoo! I'll be adding more pics and animations to this blog post as I get them.

Chang'e 3 rover Yutu rolls onto the lunar surface

CNSA / CCTV / Emily Lakdawalla

Chang'e 3 rover Yutu rolls onto the lunar surface
Screen caps taken from a Chinese state television feed show the view from a side-looking camera mounted to the lander of the Yutu rover deploying from a ramp onto the surface of the Moon on December 14, 2013

 Here are a couple more animated gifs made from screen grabs. Ctrl-Prtscrn, Alt-Tab, Ctrl-V, Alt-Tab, repeat!!

Yutu rolling onto the transfer ramp

CNSA / CCTV / Emily Lakdawalla

Yutu rolling onto the transfer ramp
Yutu rover being transferred down from lander toward lunar surface

CNSA / CCTV / Emily Lakdawalla

Yutu rover being transferred down from lander toward lunar surface

If I understood correctly from the voice over on the broadcast, the whole process was commanded, step-by-step, from mission control in Beijing. First they unlocked the rover wheels, then disconnected the cable to the lander. Then they commanded the rover to drive out onto the transfer ramp. It sounded like the first commanded drive was slightly short; they commanded another few centimeters of drive to place the rover in the correct position on the ram. Then they commanded the ramp to lower. You can see on the animation immediately above this paragraph how that seems to involve a wire -- presumably the weight of the rover carried it downward as the wire was reeled out. Then they commanded the rover to drive forward and on to the surface.

According to what they said earlier today, there will be an event 24 hours after the landing where they unveil the first images shot by the rover of the lander, and vice versa. That will be our first chance to see photos from science cameras. I look forward to that!

 
See other posts from December 2013

 

Or read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program, animation

Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

LightSail - Flight by Light

Support LightSail!

In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.

I want to help!

Featured Images

Farewell, Rosetta

Pilot Knob Valley, Curiosity sol 810
MAHLI image of Mojave, sol 809
Pink Cliffs, Curiosity sol 780
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!