Feeds

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

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

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.