The Chinese Space Agency has announced that it will launch its first-ever moon rover early next month, and everyone keeps talking about its stupid name. The rover’s title, Jade Rabbit, was chosen via an online poll which revealed that Chinese internet-users still have a soft spot for third-century Warring States folklore about critters in the moon.
The media response to the Space Agency’s announcement has focused almost entirely on the rover’s name, and not on the fact that the Chinese government is about to send a fucking robot to the fucking MOON. Xinhua started the frenzy with “China names moon rover “Yutu” [Jade Rabbit]” and was followed by CNS.CN’s “Lunar program named after moon goddess of myth,” and The NewStaitsTimes’s “China to send ‘Jade Rabbit’ to Moon.” Even the All-China Women’s Federation got in on the fun, because the rabbit, apparently, was female.
Details on the rover itself have been pretty much non-existent, although we can confirm that it is “gold” and has “six wheels” (Thank you, The Standard, for focusing on ever-so-slightly more than the name). The image above, a scale-model of the rover, was displayed today upon the announcement of the rover’s name.
It’s not a baby. You could name it CHINA_ROVER_3423-B for all we care, we just want to read more about robots on the moon.