Click here to be transported into the footsteps of the ill-fated Chinese lunar rover, Jade Rabbit. On January 16, 2014, Jade Rabbit (known in Chinese as “Yutu”) completed an examination of the lunar soil. Nine days later, near the end of its second lunar day, China announced the rover had undergone a “mechanical control abnormality” due to complications caused by the “complicated lunar surface environment.” Now I’m no moon expert, but it seems to me that withstanding a lunar environment really needed to be one of Jade Rabbit’s core competencies.
While Jade Rabbit is able to communicate as of February 13, “it still suffers a mechanical control abnormality,” putting to bed its plan to explore the Moon’s Mare Imbrium. Its hibernations during the two-week long lunar nights will become increasingly irrelevant. But we still thank CNSA, Chinanews, Kennth Kremer & Marco Di Lorenzo for the image.
The panorama imaged above was taken from the Chang’e 3 lander.