independent

Monday 21 April 2014

China revives troubled moon rover

China's Jade Rabbit moon rover ran into problems on January 25 as it was shutting down in preparation for the lunar night (AP)

China has restored communications with its space programme's troubled Jade Rabbit moon rover, but engineers are still working to fix its mechanical problems, state media said.

The official Xinhua News Agency cited Pei Zhaoyu, the lunar probe programme's spokesman, as saying the rover had survived the frigid cold of the lunar night that started on January 25.

The Jade Rabbit was designed to roam the lunar surface for three months while surveying for natural resources and sending back data, but it ran into problems as it was shutting down in preparation for the lunar night, which lasts two weeks.

The problems were a rare setback for China's burgeoning space programme, which in recent years has conducted space walks and placed a space station in orbit.

Mr Pei said the rover had "come back to life" despite space experts' earlier concerns that it might not survive the extremely low temperatures of the lunar night, when the temperature drops to minus 180C.

"The rover stands a chance of being saved now that it is still alive," Mr Pei was quoted as saying. He said it was still unclear what caused the problem.

The mission has been a popular success for China's military-backed space programme. Updates on the moon rover's progress have been posted on an unofficial Chinese microblog written with the Jade Rabbit's voice, attracting tens of thousands of comments by Chinese internet users.

Press Association

Also in this Section

Classifieds

CarsIreland

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet, chat and connect with
singles in your area

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet Singles Now

Findajob

Apps

Now available on

Independent.ie on Twitter

More

Most Read

Independent Gallery

Your photos

Send us your weather photos promo

Celebrity News