Is This the End? China’s ‘Jade Rabbit’ Rover Hops to a HaltPosted: January 28, 2014
China’s lunar rover appears not to be as agile or as long-lived as its name implies.
The Jade Rabbit, named after a mythical lunar bunny who mixes elixirs of immortality, has experienced a mechanical abnormality resulting from the “complicated lunar surface environment,” the official Xinhua news agency reported over the weekend, citing China’s state space agency.
Deployed on Dec. 15 following the first soft landing of a Chinese spacecraft on a celestial body, the lunar rover was a key element in an ambitious program designed to help close the space gap with the U.S. and Russia. In fairness, it was never intended to last forever. In fact, it was only supposed to hop around the lunar surface for three months before slipping into an eternal slumber.
Nevertheless, the possibility that the Jade Rabbit’s mission may have come to an end more than a month early has left many in…
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