Chinese Yutu lunar rover finally gives up as last signal is sent from Moon

by | Aug 4, 2016 | China, exploration | 0 comments

The Chinese lunar rover “Yutu” has finally succumbed to the cold according to the official Xinhua news agency of China.

The rover from the Chang’e 3 lunar lander and rover mission reportedly stopped working after coming out of its 33rd two-week long lunar night. The spacecraft’s electronics had finally fully succumbed to the cold.

The rover and its lander originally landed on the lunar surface on 14 December 2013. Having trundled a short way across the lunar surface the Yutu “Jade Rabbit” rover, prepared to settle down for its second lunar night lasting 14 days. However on 25 January, an anomaly, blamed on the lunar surface environment, meant that one of the solar arrays could not be folded back over its main electronics bay as planned. This, in turn, caused a partial electronics failure in which the rover lost its ability to move. Nevertheless, the now hobbled rover could still produce scientific data and observations as could its lander from their fixed positions.

While it did not achieve all that was planned, the Yutu rover mission did achieve a long operational life of over two and a half years in partial operation, easily exceeded its three month design life. The Chang’e 3 lander continues to live on.

 

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