Feeds

China's Jade Rabbit moon rover might have DIED in the NIGHT after 'abnormality'

'Goodnight, Earth. Goodnight, humans' says lunar lapin

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

China's moon rover, the Jade Rabbit, could be going gently into that good night after experiencing a "mechanical control abnormality".

State news agency Xinhua reported the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence as saying that the rover was having trouble due to the "complicated lunar surface environment".

Jade Rabbit, or Yutu, was about to enter its second dormancy period through the lunar night when the problem emerged. A night on the Moon lasts around 14 Earth days. Yutu can't function during this time because there's no sunlight to provide power to its solar panel.

The rover previously went dormant and came back during the first lunar night of the mission, but there's no guarantee it will wake up again this time – although the administration is attempting to fix it.

News of the Rabbit's troubles prompted a big response on China's microblogging site Weibo, where folks were praising the little rover's efforts so far. Apparently in response, Xinhua posted an article in Chinese as if Yutu was talking to the Chinese people, which may have been based on Weibo comments.

“The bad news is, I was supposed to go to sleep this morning, but before I went to sleep, my masters found some mechanical control abnormalities,” the post, translated by The Times, AFP and others, reads.

“Some parts of my body won’t listen to their commands. Now my masters are hard at work thinking of ways to fix me... Even so, I know that it’s possible I won’t be able to endure this night.

“I originally thought I could hop around up here for three months.

“But if this trip is to end prematurely, I’m not afraid. Whether or not they can fix me, I know that my breakdown can provide my masters with a lot of valuable information and experience.”

“The Sun here has fallen, and the temperature is dropping fast. I’ve said a lot today, but I still feel it’s not enough.

“I’ll tell everyone a little secret. I’m actually not that sad. I’m just in my own adventure story, and like any protagonist, I encountered a bit of a problem. Goodnight, Earth. Goodnight, humans.”

Yutu landed on the Moon in December as part of China's Chang'e-3 mission and was expected to operate for around three months. The rover was named after a mythological pet of the moon goddess Chang'e. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.