17 April 2019
As of 11 April, the Yutu 2 lunar rover has traversed a total of 178 meters on the Moon, Sun Zezhou, Chief Architect for the Chang'e 4 lunar probe said during a lecture at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics on that day. Some may question the speed of the lunar rover, given it landed on the far side of the Moon in January, four months ago. "Yutu 2 is not slow at all," Pang Zhihao, an expert in space exploration technology, told the Global Times on 16 April, saying that the rover prioritizes safety on the lunar surface by design and it is selecting the most research-valuable path through a rather comprehensive calculation, which takes time.
Sun also confirmed that so far, China's Mars probe programme is going smoothly, and the programme's flight hardware has entered the final assembly and testing phase. The nation's first probe will be launched by next year, Sun said. "We wish to land on Mars by 2021 in a safe and reliable fashion to conduct probe missions."