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China’s Lunar Rover Discovered a New Kind of Moon Rock

After two years on the moon, a Chinese lunar rover named “Yutu,” has uncovered a new type of moon rock on a long-dead lava flow. According to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, the unique composition of the recently discovered rocks is revealing new insights into the moon’s origins. The rover is part of China’s Chang’e lunar mission, which conducted the first lunar “soft landing” in almost 40 years. The Chang’e-3 lander and Yutu touched down smoothly on the surface of the moon in January 2013. But while Yutu now holds the record for the longest stay by a lunar rover, it hasn’t actually done all that much roving, Jeff Foust reports for SpaceNews. The rover started experiencing problems just a few lunar days into its mission, causing many of its systems to lock up.”

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