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China’s moon rover comes back to life
February 13, 2014, 5:47 am

China's lunar mission spokesperson said Yutu has now been restored to its normal signal reception function [Xinhua]

China’s lunar mission spokesperson said Yutu has now been restored to its normal signal reception function [Xinhua]

After being declared dead by some media reports on Wednesday China’s moon rover Yutu is awake, a spokesman with the country’s lunar probe program said on Thursday.

“Yutu has come back to life,” said Pei Zhaoyu this morning.

However, experts are still trying to find out the cause of its abnormality.

Pei said the lunar rover has now been restored to its normal signal reception function.

The problem emerged before Yutu entered its second dormancy on the moon on January 25 as the lunar night fell.

“Yutu went to sleep under an abnormal status,” Pei said, adding that experts were concerned that it might not be able to survive the extremely low temperatures during the lunar night.

One night on the Moon is about 14 days on Earth, during which the temperature falls below minus 180 Celsius. During the lunar night, there is no sunlight to provide power to Yutu’s solar panel.

“The rover stands a chance of being saved now that it is still alive,” he said.

On Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, user handle “Yutu Lunar Rover“, which has followed the developments of the rover mission in a first-person account, posted its first update since the abnormality.

“Hi, anybody there?” it asked in a post, which immediately attracted tens of thousands of comments.

Many Chinese Internet users said they were moved to hear that their “cute rabbit” had “come back to life”, and some said the rover was a “foodie” waking up for rice dumplings, a delicacy for China’s Lantern Festival that falls on Friday.

Yutu’s landing in December made China one of only three nations — after the United States and the former Soviet Union — to “soft-land” on the moon’s surface, and the first to do so in over three decades.

 

Source: Agencies

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