Chinese lunar rover not dead yet
China's lunar rover Jade Rabbit is still alive and kicking.
The plucky rover, which famously sent out a dying message in January, is severely handicapped but is still functioning, Chinese authorities said on Monday.
Sent to the moon by China to study its surface and mineral resources, Jade Rabbit experienced unexpected malfunctions six weeks into its operation.
Before entering the second moon night in late January, Jade Rabbit sent out a mournful last message that it had run into some problem and that “I know I might not survive this moon night.” The rover's missives caught worldwide attention and were made more famous by a dramatic rendition of its plight by actor Patrick Stewart in a tin foil dress on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
Since then, it has been unable to move farther and entered into a deep “coma” that lasted for about 50 days before waking up in mid-March. Because the rover is solar powered, it entered a hibernation mode during the long period of lunar night when there was no sunlight.
The 309-pound, six-wheeled rover was designed with a life expectancy of three months.
Chinese experts said the rabbit appears to have tripped over some rocks — the whole surface of the moon is like a quarry, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Still, Chinese authorities praised Jade Rabbit for being “much stronger than expected.”
“Yutu has ‘over-served' its time on the moon and sent lots of data back to Earth. We hope it can continue to work miracles,” Zhang Yuhua, deputy chief designer of the lunar probe system, told Xinhua.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ISIS ravages centuries-old archaeological site in Iraq
- Boko Haram attack kills 68, targets children in Nigeria
- Ukrainians told to halt joint drills with U.S.
- Ex-wife of late Argentine prosecutor: Death was a homicide
- U.S. Ambassador to South Korea stable after facial surgery for knife wounds
- Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expected to confront Obama on Iran
- Prominent Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov shot dead
- Stone Age Britons got wheat from trade route
- Iraq opens museum of antiquities in defiance of Islamic State terrorists
- Al-Qaida-linked fighters seize rebel bases in Syria
- Boko Haram beheading video mimics Islamic State propaganda