China’s lunar rover functioning day after being declared dead
The Guardian: A day after it was declared dead, China’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover communicated with the nation’s space program, state media reported Thursday.
After a night of extreme cold on the moon, China’s space program reported its first moon rover had lost function. Citing a combination of mechanical issues in addition to the low temperatures, the program reported the rover dead. However, on Thursday, the program said that “it came back to life.”
It is unclear how much function returned to the rover, but the program said it now believes it is possible to save it.
Photo: China’s Jade Rabbit moon rover after it landed on the lunar surface. (AP/Xinhua)
The Yutu rover suffered a mysterious “abnormality” over the weekend. And the robot’s microblogged death note may make you cry.
“The sun has fallen, and the temperature is dropping so quickly…to tell you all a secret, I don’t feel that sad. I was just in my own adventure story - and like every hero, I encountered a small problem.” “Goodnight, Earth,” concluded the rover. “Goodnight, humanity.”
This mysterious abnormality resulted in the rover being unable to enter sleep mode, which would turn on its internal heaters and protect it from the -170 C temperatures of the lunar night. You just read the parting words of a robot freezing to death.
China’s first lunar rover separates from Chang’e-3 moon lander early Dec. 15, 2013. Screenshot taken from the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing. Credit: Xinhua/post processing by Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer (via Photo and Video Gallery)