Late Wednesday, officials from the China National space Administration unveiled images of the Chang’e-4 rover. The rover, which is set to be launched to the far side of the moon later this year is a 1.5-meter long, six-wheeled box that features two foldable solar panels.
The yet to named rover will be launched with the Chang’e-4 lander in December of this year. The rover retains much of the design aesthetic of the Chang’e-3 Yutu (Jade Rabbit) probe launched in 2013. However, the new rover features an adjustable payload configuration that will be essential for dealing with the terrain and relay communication challenges on the far side of the moon.
The Chang’e-4 rover will feature four primary scientific payloads including a panoramic camera, radar measurement devices, and infrared imaging spectrometer. During its scientific operations, the rover will obtain images of the moon’s surface and detect lunar soil composition and structure. Additionally, both the rover and the lander will carry a selection of payloads for a number of other countries.
In addition to revealing images of the rover, China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense has announced they will be giving the global community a chance to name the rover. Names suggestions will be accepted from August 15 to September 5. The final selection will then be announced in October following several selection rounds. In addition to receiving a ¥ 3,000 cash prize, the winner will be invited to watch the launch of the Chang’e-4 mission in person.