Return of the Jade Rabbit: China’s moon rover back in action
BEIJING — China’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover, feared to have suffered some irreparable technical difficulties, may yet have some spring in its step.
UPDATE: It may have a heartbeat. A website devoted to the amateur monitoring of radio signals from deep space, uhf-satcom.com, reports that a downlink signal from the Yutu rover has been detected. Whether it’s a zombie or not is still unknown.
From wire reports:
China’s lunar rover, Yutu, was has failed to reawaken after 14 days of hibernation.
Yutu, China’s first lunar rover, is dead.
Mission controllers in Beijing were unable to communicate with and restore the rover, also called Jade Rabbit, according to a Chinadaily report released February 12. A problem with the rover was first announced on January 25.
China’s first lunar rover, Yutu, could not be restored to full function on Monday as expected, and netizens mourned it on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service. [Special coverage]
Yutu experienced mechanical problems on Jan 25 and has been unable to function since then.
One wonders if the cause will ultimately be traced to something many people experience daily on a worldwide basis: poorly manufactured Chinese components often fail quickly.
Of course, there are many instances of other countries moon and mars landers/rovers failing on deployment, so they are not alone. It is still an accomplishment to just get there.