Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Netizens extend blessings to troubled lunar rover
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Jan 27, 2014

File image.

Tens of thousands of Chinese netizens have sent their blessings to lunar rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) after it experienced major trouble. A mechanical control abnormality occurred to Yutu because of the "complicated lunar surface environment," said China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) on Saturday. Repair work is ongoing.

The news caused a splash on China's social networking circles.

People not only hailed the authority's openness to the accident, but also expressed concern.

By Sunday afternoon, more than 36,000 reposts had been generated under the "yueqiucheyutu" or "lunar rover yutu" account on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter.

The weibo account is believed to belong to space enthusiasts who have been following Yutu's journey to the moon. It has more than 110,000 followers.

Many netizens fear for the troubled rover's destiny.

"You have done a great job Yutu. You have endured extreme hot and cold temperatures and shown us what we have never seen. Hope you get well soon, but no matter what, it is your presence that makes the planet about 390 thousand kilometers away dazzling," wrote "Amaniandlove".

Zhang Yian, a Beijing-based writer, said Yutu has shouldered more than just the hope of China's space industry but also the dreams of the Chinese people. "This is too heavy a burden. If the rabbit can not stand again, maybe we should let it have a rest."

"Tanwie" wrote on weibo, "Space exploration, the more gorgeous a view you see, the more dangerous it can be."

The problem happened just before Yutu was about to begin its second dormancy in the lunar night. One night on the moon is about 14 days on Earth. During this time, the temperature falls below minus 180 Celsius.

The rover has obtained scientific data through its radar, panorama camera, a particle X-ray device and infrared imaging equipment, according to the SASTIND.

The rover was expected to stay on the moon for at least three months after it separated from the Chang'e-3 probe which soft-landed on the moon on Dec. 14.

Saturday also marked the 10th anniversary of rover Opportunity's landing on Mars. A weibo account called "NASAzhongwen" or "Chinese NASA," posted a message on Sina Weibo, wishing Yutu to get well soon.

The account has no official connection with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, but it has documented space activities as well as the journey of Mars rovers Opportunity and Curiosity.

Compared with Opportunity's 10 years on Mars, Yutu's one-month stay is not long. But the occurrence of such an abnormality is normal, said Yang Yuguang, a researcher from China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., deeming the Chang'e 3 probe mission as one of the most difficult in the country's space exploration.

Human kind has only achieved a 51 percent success rate on lunar probe missions among the 130 in total, according to China's lunar probe program chief designer Wu Weiren, in an earlier interview with Xinhua.

"There is no smooth way ahead. Whether or not we can overcome this difficult situation, it's a big lesson for our lunar exploration research," said Yang.

On Sunday afternoon, messages continued to be posted on Sina Weibo. "Come on little rabbit, you must hang on in there to see the Spring Festival fireworks," wrote "Dourentao".

Source: Xinhua News Agency


Related Links
China National Space Administration
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Official: China's space policy open to world
Beijing (XNA) Jan 13, 2014
Xu Dazhe, the new chief of China's space industry, is seeking more international cooperation in Washington less than a month after his country's first successful soft landing on the moon. Xu said China's space policy has always been very open. "We are willing to cooperate with all the countries in the world, including the United States and developing countries," he said on Thursday on the ... read more

China's moon rover experiences abnormality

Yutu moon rover has 'abnormality': Xinhua

NASA Seeks Partnership Opportunities For Commercial Lunar Landers

Chang'e-3 probe sets out on new missions

NASA Receives Mars 2020 Rover Instrument Proposals for Evaluation

Opportunity at 10: New Findings from Old Rover

Mars 'jelly doughnut' rock intrigues scientists

Mystery Mars rock reveals unexpected chemical composition

NASA launches communications satellite

At Your Service: Orion Service Module Complete

Lawrence Livermore 'space cops' to help control traffic in space

NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center to be Renamed for Neil Armstrong

Netizens extend blessings to troubled lunar rover

Official: China's space policy open to world

China launches communications satellite for Bolivia

China's moon rover continues lunar survey after photographing lander

Israeli astronaut may go to ISS by Russia's Soyuz spacecraft

Cygnus Work Under Way, Normal Station Operations Continue

Spaceflight, Nanoracks Partnership Launch CubeSat Customers Towards Historic ISS Deployment

Orbital's cargo ship arrives at space station

45th Space Wing Supports NASA Launch

Athena-Fidus receives its "kick" for Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 launch

ILS Proton To Launch Yamal 601

Turkish Telecoms Satellite to Launch From Baikonur Feb. 15

ALMA Discovers a Formation Site of a Giant Planetary System

Herschel Telescope Detects Water on Dwarf Planet

Bright star reveals new exoplanet

'Dwarf planet' in deep space has water

Google says buys artificial intelligence firm DeepMind

'Gears of War' videogame will stay in Xbox arsenal

MDA awarded key development work for exploration and communications

Lenovo to buy IBM's low-end server business for $2.3bn

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement