China’s first moon rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) has experienced mechanical problems due to ‘complicated surface environment’, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) said on Saturday.
Damn that crater-pocked surface!
The abnormality was found before the rover entered its second dormancy on Saturday as lunar night fell, according to SASTIND.
CCTV reports that no further details about the malfunction have been disclosed, but scientists are organizing repairs.
The lander of the Chang’e-3 probe also “fell asleep” on Friday, according to the same report.
The pair went dormant for two weeks about one month ago when the first lunar night of the mission occurred.
One night on the Moon is about 14 days on Earth, during which the temperature falls below minus 180 Celsius. During the lunar night, there is no sunlight to provide power to Yutu’s solar panel.
After the first dormancy, the lander’s Moon-based optical telescope carried out observation of the sky, while its extreme ultraviolet camera observed the plasmasphere over the Earth, according to SASTIND.
Speedy recovery, beloved Yutu.