China’s Lunar Rover: Not Dead Yet

Just one day after being declared officially dead, Jade Rabbit (Yutu) has suddenly sprung back to life, transmitting a downlink signal to mission controllers back home on Earth. But while the rover may not be completely lost, it’s still not clear if it’s functional enough to continue the mission.¬†Details are vague. Here’s the entire release from the Chinese news agency, Zinhua:

China’s moon rover Yutu has waken up from a troubled dormancy although experts are still trying to figure out the cause of its abnormality, a spokesman with the country’s lunar probe program said on Thursday.

“Yutu has come back to life!” said Pei Zhaoyu, the spokesperson.

Pei said the moon rover, named after the pet of a lunar goddess in ancient Chinese mythology, has now been restored to its normal signal reception function. But experts are still working to verify the causes of its mechanical control abnormality.

The abnormality emerged before Yutu entered its second dormancy on the moon on Jan. 25 as the lunar night fell.

“Yutu went into sleep under an abnormal status,” Pei said , adding that experts were initially concerned that it might not be able to survive the extremely low temperatures during the lunar night.

“The rover stands a chance of being saved now that it is still alive,” he said.

via China’s Lunar Rover: Not Dead Yet.

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