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China's 'Jade Rabbit' lunar rover freezes to death on moon

Posted in Science on 13th Feb, 2014 04:25 AM by AlexMuller

It's a sad day for space exploration. China's lunar rover Yutu (translation: Jade Rabbit) is dead. The lunar rover was supposed to enter hibernation for two Earth weeks (one lunar day), but it failed to fold up one of its solar panels and enter sleep mode. As a result of being a tough guy, Yutu froze to death on the moon.

China's ECNS news reports all hope of restoring communication with Jade Rabbit is gone. According to New Scientist "When temperatures plunge, the rover's mast is designed to fold down to protect delicate instruments, which can then be kept warm by a radioactive heat source."
Yutu's moon escapade was originally scheduled to last three months. On December 14, 2013, China's Chang'e-3 moon lander successfully landed on the moon and deployed Yutu. While its mission was cut short, thanks to Yutu, we got to see this gorgeous panorama from our natural satellite.
It isn't all solemn news. China's Chang'e-3 moon lander is up and operational after waking up from its lunar slumber, although it's unclear what the next plan for the remainder of the lunar mission will be, now that Yutu is useless.

Tags: spacemoonChinaJade RabbitMoon rover

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-02-13
Well, it was a very good start. They landed "softly" and at a very interesting place. Things do go wrong but there is quite a lot to learn when this happens
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-02-13
Yes, and even woke up after two weeks of lunar night and stared exploring just as planed under precise control. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-02-13
It was hoped that the Chang'e-3 lander and Yutu rover can provide many answers to our questions regarding the geological history of this region of the Moon and about lunar history in general - may be next time! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-02-13
It is important to go on with these efforts. In the future humans may live and work on the moon for weeks or even months. They need to produce energy and power to make it possible to travel to and live on the lunar surface. Reply


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