China’s first and favorite moon rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) woke up in the wee hours of Friday morning following its third dormancy but is still experiencing mechanical problems, according to Xinhua.
The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said that Yutu and the lander Chang’e-3, which woke up on Wednesday, restarted their operations and are still exploring as scheduled.
“Don’t poke me… I’m already up!” read a message posted to the rover’s Weibo account on Friday, following suit of other such…animated messages before it.
“Any carrot pie for me?” the rover asked (Friday was Pi Day).
The moon buggy began experiencing abnormalities in January, just before entering its second dormancy.
The control issues still remain, according to SASTIND, but the problem behind it is still unknown. The rover’s panorama camera (with which it’s sent back some stellar shots), radar and other equipment are still functioning normally, and its optical telescope, ultraviolet camera and lunar dust measurement device have obtained a sufficient amount of data.
Yutu successfully separated itself from Chang’e-3 hours after the probe made its soft landing on the moon in December, making China the third country in the world to accomplish such a rover mission.
Yutu’s task was to survey the moon’s surface for three months, looking for natural resources as the lander conducted stationary observation from its landing site for the next year. It has now survived its design life of three months, according to SASTIND.