China’s first Moon rover ‘Yutu’ suffers snag

China’s first Moon rover, Jade Rabbit also known as Yutu, has suffered a technical glitch, state media reported.

Moon exploration vehicle experienced a “mechanical control abnormality” due to its complicated lunar surface environment before the rover entered its scheduled dormancy period on Saturday, Xinhua reported, citing the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND).

The mechanical issues developed while the probe shut down during the lunar night. As the rover is solar powered, it has been having difficulties during two-week lunar night. The officials said that the temperature on the moon dropped to minus 292 degrees Fahrenheit during this recent time period.

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China’s rover landed on lunar surface in December last year as part of Chang’e-3 mission- the first “soft” landing on the Moon since 1976. It was expected to operate for around three months.

The rover has been traveLling across a part of the moon known as Sinus Iridum also known as the Bay of Rainbows. It is a flat surface area.

The Beijing Aerospace Control Centre has earlier this month confirmed that Yutu had successfully explored the lunar surface with its mechanical arm.

This is the first public mishap China’s ambitious space programme has experienced in years.