China's moon rover could be dead already

It has been just over a month since China launched their 'Jade Rabbit' rover, to collect data from our moon, but already, it seems to have taken its last step - a mechanical abnormality has virtually killed the machine and put the mission in jeopardy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that China's first ever machine of this type will break a record of the shortest operational time of a Moon or Mars rover, failing even sooner than America's Sojourner rover that spent just under three months navigating mars before succumbing to the environment and its complicated electronics. This was back in 1997, however, so we would assume that technology has progressed enough to beat this infamous record by now.

China launched Jade Rabbit (or 'Yutu') early in December last year, and marked the first soft moon landing since 1976. It aimed to study geology, such as material composition, resources, and the topography of the surface. Sadly, many of these are left incomplete.

The voyage had already been far from perfect as the craft landed 40km south of its intended site, and has been in hibernation for extended periods of time due to lack of solar power.. Whether or not these issues contributed to today's failure, it is yet to be made clear. This was a pivotal moment for China's space efforts, and signified its rapid industrialisation over the past 10-20 years, yet setbacks like these put doubt on the nation's superpower status.

Engineers are working to restore the rover as soon as possible, although there is no guarantee that it will ever be resurrected.

Source: Wall Street Journal | Image: Xinhua/AP

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45 Comments

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i think the abnormailty was because china made it... chinese knock off robots obviously dont work !!

what went wrong?? well for start it fell off the back of an american shuttle and we tried "modify it"

jimmy_jazz said,
Shame, it was a great achievement by the Chinese Space agency.

Still is imo. Its just easy to make fun of =).

Kalint said,
they didnt steal enough from the Americans to make it work properly.

Lol. They should have played more Kerbal Space Program and the results may have been different .

Scabrat said,

Lol. They should have played more Kerbal Space Program and the results may have been different .

Ha! I love that game!

Made in China? Well I guess that explains it. The must have a storeroom full of these rovers sitting, ready to be deployed. I guess, for them, s they're cheaper to build than a Range Rover

"failing even sooner than America's Sojourner rover that spent just under three months navigating mars before succumbing to the environment and its complicated electronics"

Except Sojourner's mission was for *seven* sols, with an extension to 30 sols. And lasted 87. So there was certainly no failure there. (A Mars sol is a little bit longer than an Earth day)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sojourner_%28rover%29

Moon has very different environment comparing to Mars. So it makes no sense to compare a Moon rover to a Mars rover.

acrodex said,
Moon has very different environment comparing to Mars. So it makes no sense to compare a Moon rover to a Mars rover.

Cons:
Moon :Extremely Low temp, high temp and some debris.
Mars :Low temp, high temp, storms (lots of storms) and dusts (lots too).

If i would be Wall-E then i will pick the Moon instead to Mars.

The moon has also lots of dust. In fact, it is so fine and sharp that so far nobody was able to bring back a sealed container, as the seal would rip to shreds due to the fine and sharp dust getting everywhere.

Brony said,

Cons:
Moon :Extremely Low temp, high temp and some debris.
Mars :Low temp, high temp, storms (lots of storms) and dusts (lots too).

If i would be Wall-E then i will pick the Moon instead to Mars.

You don't know what you're talking about.

The moon has no atmosphere so it's temperatures vary massively, from 123 C (252 F) in the light, all the way down to -153 C on the dark side and in shadows. It's far more hostile than Mars. The storms on Mars are not usually that bad either, if they were they would easily destroy a fragile rover. The temperate is far less varied on Mars, with it usually around -17 C to -117 C in the places the rovers land. Mars has atmosphere so it's more protected from space and massive temperature variations.

Russia had a radio controlled rover on the moon called the Lunokhod in the 1960's I think it lasted a year? and that was in the 60's!!!!!!

Missing the old days where it was not a "mechanical abnormality" nor "glitch" (the recent favorite in the media) but a bug or just simply "I fu**** it up"

Praetor said,
do a Wake on Wan, it might work

Lol, if they can WOW to Space, it would be shameful that I cant do it on my network =).

webeagle12 said,
Personally I'm against everything made in China because just like rover, it's lasts only 2 months

so damn true, no wonder galaxy line up are number one selling devices because they are made in Korea not china. Exception would be apple product because apple abuse chinese worker to work their tail off.

trojan_market said,

so damn true, no wonder galaxy line up are number one selling devices because they are made in Korea not china. Exception would be apple product because apple abuse chinese worker to work their tail off.

Apple doesn't make things, Foxconn and other companies do. On the back of my galaxy s3 it says "made in China". Think before you speak, makes you look like an idiot.

stevan said,

Apple doesn't make things, Foxconn and other companies do. On the back of my galaxy s3 it says "made in China". Think before you speak, makes you look like an idiot.


not all galaxy line up are made in china, most of them are made in korea. it was also a joke, except for the part that chinese manufacturing is crap and every one knows that. they just do it because its cheaper so they can make more money off their product. and apple has tight control over what is produced in china. before u call people idiot realize the context.

webeagle12 said,
Personally I'm against everything made in China because just like rover, it's lasts only 2 months
Strange, I buy tons of stuff from China and it lasts just as long as anything else. Maybe you're just buying crap products.

do you really think chinese things are all around bad? they have their own brands that they dont import around teh world and keep them to themselves, they only send the crappy ones to the rest of the world

they can have space stuff that can rival the almighty usa so dont underestimate anyone, not even north korea, those small eyed, ****ing against the wind guys can do something bad (at least to south korea) even if costs them everything

i like nationalsocialism stuff so im offended...

actually i only care about simplistic things and stuff

and i feel the strong urge to post a comment, so here you go:

think about the underground life of potatoes.. thats a good quest, report back to me, when you have sufficient information if you want to receive your 170 XP points and a flimsy leather belt