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Moon rover, lander wake after lunar night

English.news.cn   2014-01-12 17:16:33            
 • China's moon rover "Yutu" and the Chang'e-3 lander have just "woken up" after a period of dormancy.
 • It has started its rove around the moon surface and scientific missions.
 • During the lunar night, the lander and the rover were in a power-off condition.

 

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- China's moon rover "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit) and the Chang'e-3 lander have just "woken up" after a period of dormancy that lasted two weeks, or one lunar night, in a move designed to ride out harsh climactic conditions.

Yutu was awakened autonomously at 5:09 a.m. Beijing Time on Saturday and has finished necessary setting procedures and entered a normal working mode following orders from the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC), according to a statement issued by the BACC on Sunday.

It has started its rove around the moon surface and scientific missions.

Chang'e-3 has also been awakened automatically at 8:21 a.m. on Sunday, and is currently in normal condition, the statement said.

One night on the moon lasts about 14 days on Earth, during which the temperature falls below minus 180 celsius and there is no sunlight to provide power to the instruments' solar panels.

"During the lunar night, the lander and the rover were in a power-off condition and the communication with Earth was also cut off," said Zhou Jianliang, chief engineer of the BACC.

"When the night ends, they will be started up with the power provided by sunlight and resume operation and communication according to preset programs," Zhou said.

The awakening of the rover and lander marks the success of Chinese technology in surviving the lunar night, and the center will instruct the two instruments to carry on scheduled exploration missions, the chief engineer added.

Chang'e-3 soft-landed on the moon's Sinus Iridium, or the Bay of Rainbows, on Dec. 14 last year, and Yutu later separated from the lander.

The rover fell asleep on Dec. 26 as the mission's first lunar night arrived.  

Related:

China's moon rover "sleeps" through lunar night

BEIJING, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The moon rover and lander of China's Chang'e 3 lunar probe mission will "sleep" during the lunar night, enduring extreme low temperatures on the lunar surface.  Full story

China's moon rover flexes muscles

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's moon rover, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), completed an arm flexing assessment early on Monday, a key test before beginning other work on the surface, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

The trial checked the rover is in the best condition to endure extreme temperatures of minus 180 degrees Celsius in the first moonlight night, said Zhou Jianliang, chief engineer with the center. Full story

China's moon rover continues lunar survey after photographing lander

BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's first moon rover, Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, continued patrol explorations on the lunar surface after taking photos of the lander for the fifth and final time early on Sunday.

According to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), images transmitted to the ground after the latest photos were captured showed for the first time the national flags on both Yutu and the lander. Full story

China's Yutu "naps", awakens and explores

BEIJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's moon rover, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), continued exploring after a "nap", according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence on Friday.

At about 8:00 p.m. Beijing Time, the six-wheeled rover started moving again after shutting down its subsystems on Dec. 16. Full story

Editor: Lu Hui
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