Technology

China’s Lunar Rover Stalls After One Month

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

China’s lunar rover has stalled on its second lunar night of exploration due to the moon’s "complicated lunar surface environment."

China’s Yutu rover, translated as “Jade Rabbit,” is experiencing a “mechanical control abnormality” just one month after making the first soft landing on the Moon since 1976, Xinhua news agency said.

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The six-wheeled rover was expected to gather data for about three months. Until now, it had successfully explored the lunar surface with its mechanical arm.

Yutu was being shut down Saturday when it stalled, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND). The agency said scientists are planning to make repairs, but gave no further details.

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Unofficial accounts claim that Yutu’s solar panels did not fold back properly on its mast as it was positioned over a warming box that protects it from the frigid lunar night – which lasts 14 Earth days.

If this is true, instruments and electronic systems on the mast may be defunct.

Sources: BBC News, Universe Today