Yutu 2 (Image: CNSA)
India's ambitious lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 is expected to land on lunar sufrace on Sepetember 7. The Vikaram lander will land near the south pole of moon. India will be the first to explore this area of earth's satellite. Following the landing, the rover 'Pragyan' will roll out from lander 'Vikram' and carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of one lunar day, equivalent to 14 earth days.
Meanwhile, China's Chang'e-4 mission on the far side of the moon has made a strange discovery. The smaller lunar rover Yutu-2 has found a gel-like substance with an unusual color, according to reports. Yutu-2 made the unusual find during lunar day 8, which started on July 25.
According to reports, the mission team members who were checking images as seen by the rover's main camera found a small crater with what appears to be a material with color and luster different from the surrounding surface. The find prompted mission scientists to cancel other exploration plans for the rover and focus on studying the strange material.
The report said that Yutu-2 approached the crater with the strange substance and examined the area with its Visible and Near-Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS), an instrument used to detect scattered light or light reflected off of materials to reveal their makeup.
The scientists have not yet provided details on the nature of the substance except that it is gel-like and has an unusual color.
Scientists who are not part of the mission, however, think that the substance could be a melt glass created from meteorites that strike the moon.
China is the first country to land a rover on the far side of the moon and the area it was set to explore was the crash site of a big asteroid that hit the lunar surface. One of the tasks of the mission is to sample and study the composition of minerals on the moon's surface.
The mission was launched in December last year and made its first soft landing on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on January 3.