Beijing – China’s troubled Jade Rabbit lunar rover has continued to exist in a bitterly cold 14-day lunar night, officials said on Thursday. It boosts hopes that it can be repaired after facing a malfunction that happened last month.
China in the beginning reported that the nation’s first lunar rover, Yutu, or the Jade Rabbit, couldn’t be refurbished after it experienced a “mechanical abnormality” right before it went into shutdown mode while waiting for the Sun to gear up its solar panels.
“The rover stands a chance of being saved as it is still alive,” Pei Zhaoyu, spokesman for China’s lunar probe programme informed the official news agency Xinhua.
A spokesperson for the Moon program said that the team had managed to get a response from the rover, though experts couldn’t figure out what exactly was wrong with it.
“Yutu has come back to life!” Pei Zhaoyu told state news agency Xinhua.
Beijing sees the space program as a symbol of China’s rising global image and technological achievement, as well as the Communist Party’s victory in repealing the fortunes of the once underdeveloped nation.
Pei said the rover was now receiving signals normally, but it’s not out of the woods yet as it’s still troubled by that pesky “mechanical control abnormality”.
“The rover stands a chance of being saved now that it is still alive,” he said
Yutu, called after the pet rabbit of mythological Moon goddess Change’e, whose mark is used all over China’s Moon missions, was assumed to be dead after it undergo some kind hitch right before heading into the lunar night at the end of January.
The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence supposed at the time that Yutu was having trouble because of the “complicated lunar surface environment”. The rover landed on the terrains of Moon in the month of December for a mission presumed to last at least three months.
Before Yutu,China sent an astronaut into space around 10 years ago,it has also become the third country to go forward with a lunar rover mission after the USA and the former Soviet Union(USSR).
The central government bragged that the latest mission was “a milestone in the development of China’s aerospace industry under the leadership of Comrade Xi Jinping”.