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Uneasy rest begins for China's troubled Yutu

English.news.cn   2014-02-23 14:46:57

This undated photo taken by the camera on the Yutu moon rover shows the Chang'e-3 moon lander and the moon surface. The Chang'e-3 lander entered its third dormancy on early Feb. 23, 2014. China's lunar rover Yutu also entered the dormancy on Feb. 22, with the mechanical control issues that might cripple the vehicle still unresolved. According to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND), Yutu only carried out fixed point observations during its third lunar day, equivalent to about two weeks on Earth. Yutu's radar, panorama camera and infrared imaging equipment are functioning normally, the control issues that have troubled the rover since January persist. (Xinhua/SASTIND)

BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's lunar rover Yutu entered its third planned dormancy on Saturday, with the mechanical control issues that might cripple the vehicle still unresolved.

According to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND), Yutu only carried out fixed point observations during its third lunar day, equivalent to about two weeks on Earth.

Yutu's radar, panorama camera and infrared imaging equipment are functioning normally, but the control issues that have troubled the rover since January persist.

The rover went to sleep mode on Saturday afternoon ahead of the lunar night, which also lasts for approximately 14 days during which the temperature falls below minus 180 degrees Celsius.

During the lunar night, there is no sunlight to power Yutu's solar panels. In this period, the rover is expected to stay in a power-off mode and communication with Earth is cut.

Yutu, named after the pet of a lunar goddess in Chinese mythology, touched down on the moon's surface on Dec. 15, some hours after lunar probe Chang'e-3 landed.

The Chang'e-3 probe also entered dormancy early on Sunday morning, after carrying out observations of celestial bodies and the plasmasphere over the Earth, using its optical telescope and extreme ultraviolet camera, SASTIND said.

Related:

China's lunar rover "awakes" despite abnormality:spokesman

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's moon rover Yutu "awakes" and is able to pick up signals despite it is still experiencing a mechanical control abnormality, a spokesman with the country's lunar probe program said on Thursday.

Pei Zhaoyu, the spokesman, said "the rover stands a chance of being saved as it is still alive". Full story

China Exclusive: China's moon rover experiences abnormality

 BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's moon rover, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), has experienced a mechanical control abnormality, and scientists are organizing repairs.

The abnormality occurred due to "complicated lunar surface environment," the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said on Saturday, without giving further details. Full story

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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