Chinese space rover baffles scientists with Moon ‘mystery hut’ discovery

A "mystery hut" has been spotted on the Moon's surface by a Chinese rover, baffling space experts.

The Yutu-2 has sparked excitement among scientists who have been left to work out what it recorded on the far side of the Moon.

Visible only as a bizarre cube-shape, the unknown object was caught on camera at around 260 feet away from the Chinese government's space rover.

At the time of capturing the structure which Twitter users have joked could be a McDonald's or Starbucks, the Yutu-2 was moving along the Von Kármán crater on the far side of the Moon.

It has been best described however as a as a "mystery hut" by Our Space, a Chinese language science outreach channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration, Vice reports.

Journalist Andrew Jones reported: "Ah. We have an update from Yutu-2 on the lunar far side, including an image of a cubic shape on the northern horizon ~80m away from the rover in Von Kármán crater. Referred to as a "mystery house", the next 2-3 lunar days will be spent getting closer to check it out."

It is thought that the mystery shape is most likely to be a large boulder that was excavated by an impact event, the Express reports.

Over the next two to three lunar days which is the equivalent of two to three months on Earth, the Yutu-2 is set to help scientists identify more accurately what the object is and how it may have formed.

The main obstructions the rover will come across as it approaches the 'hut' include craters and slopers, according to Our Space diary notes.

China’s solar-powered Yutu 2 and Chang’e 4 lander made the first-ever landing on the far side of the Moon back in January 2019.

The rover has been traversing the surface of the Moon’s 115-mile-wide (186 kilometres) Von Kármán crater since it first landed.

The latest discovery comes as the space rivalry between the US and China heated up after a top Chinese scientist said his country might be able to send astronauts to the Moon for the first time by 2030.

It's been just weeks since US President Joe Biden’s top space official set out a similar timetable for new American lunar exploration.

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Chinese Academy of Sciences member Ye Peijian said: “As long as the technological research for manned Moon landing continues, and as long as the country is determined, it is entirely possible for China to land people on the moon before 2030.”

Chang'e 4 is China's fourth Moon mission.

It is the second mission that has put a rover on the Moon.

The first two Chang'e missions were orbiters, with Chang'e 3 landing on the near side of the Moon with the first Yutu rover.

China has also launched the Chang'e 5 T1 test mission around the Moon.

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