Search results for: yutu

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It’s Alive! Yutu Shows Signs Of Life After Malfunction

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YutuAfter arriving on the moon on December 14, China’s Yutu rover experienced a malfunction in late January, just before hibernating for its second two-week-long lunar night. Yutu seemed to bravely embrace its fate, relaying a message to “comfort” the Chang’e lunar lander, and offering some very down-to-Earth (sorry) philosophy: “About half of the past 130 explorations ended in success; the rest ended in failure. This is space exploration; the danger comes with its beauty. I am but a tiny dot in the vast picture of mankind’s adventure in space.” I couldn’t have put it any better myself, Yutu. Just before the beloved Chinese rover signed off, it relayed the message: “I don’t feel that sad. I was just in my own adventure story – and like every hero, I encountered a small problem…Goodnight, Earth. Goodnight, humanity.” I never thought I could get choked up over mechanical lunar explorer, but somewhere along the way the “Jade Rabbit” stopped feeling like a machine.

Yutu was supposed to wake up from the lunar night yesterday, but didn’t, prompting the China Daily to report that the rover had indeed died during the frigid two-week period. But anyone who’s ever read or watched science fiction (or Gravity) knows that death may not be a permanent condition. Indeed, late last night UHF-Satcom, a website that monitors cosmic radio signals, detected a faint signal from Yutu. Perhaps the fat lady hasn’t sung after all.

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Chinese Moon Rover Yutu May Be In Trouble

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YutuChina’s moon rover Yutu landed on the moon on December 14, 2013, making China the third country to land a spacecraft on our favorite rock. Yutu, which means “jade rabbit” in Chinese, and the lander that brought it there, Chang’e-3, delivered some stunning photos and garnered plenty of global acclaim. But recent reports indicate that all is not well with Yutu. Xinhua news agency reported a “mechanical control abnormality” with the rover, and scientists are trying to figure out a way to fix it.

The State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) pinpointed the cause of the problem as the “complicated lunar surface environment,” but didn’t elaborate. SASTIND did confirm that the abnormality occurred just before the rover was supposed to hibernate again for a two-week-long lunar night on Saturday. During a lunar night, temperatures plunge to about -180 Celsius and there’s no solar power to provide energy for the spacecraft, so they shut down to conserve energy. Both Yutu and Chang’e-3 hibernated for a couple weeks about a month ago, during the first lunar night since their arrival, and both woke up on schedule two weeks later. After awakening, tests confirmed that both vehicles were operating and communicating normally. They were expected to operate for about three months — the same length of time as NASA planned for Spirit and Opportunity to operate on Mars.

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China’s Yutu Rover Hits The Surface Of The Moon

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YutuToday, China became the latest country to touch down on the surface of the Moon. The China National Space Agency landed a Chang’e-3 lander on our local satellite, and deployed a rover with the adorable name Yutu, to check out the scene.

Yutu has been unleashed for a three-month jaunt to explore the Bay of Rainbows, a region primarily made up of plains of dark basaltic lava. On most maps of the lunar surface, the Bay is known by its Latin name, Sinus Iridium, and forms the dark spots visible from Earth. The Bay is one of the northwestern finger of the Mare Imbrium, and is partially surrounded to the northeast and southwest by the Montes Jura mountain range.

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China Will Launch Moon Rover Yutu On December 1

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yutuWhile the U.S. and Russia haven’t spent much time in the last few decades focused on getting back to the moon, China is stepping up their space program and will soon perform the first soft landing on the moon in 37 years. I bet it’s pretty dusty up there. The nation’s Chang’e-3 mission is set to launch a lander and rover (named Yutu by a popular vote) on December 1 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the Sichuan province. (Technically, it’ll be December 2 their time.)

It will take around five days for Yutu to make it into lunar orbit, and it’s expected to land inside Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, on December 14. There’s a joke to be made here about putting Chinese food on board so that it would get to the moon in 30-45 minutes, but it feels slightly derogatory, and this is a celebratory news story.

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ESA Loses Contact With Philae, Get The Details Here

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PhilaeThe Philae lander, which made history last week when it became the first craft to touch down on a comet, has gone to sleep. Now, we just have to hope it wakes up.

Philae’s harpoons didn’t deploy during its landing on Wednesday, so it never got properly anchored into the comet. It bounced a few times and eventually landed in a spot under an outcropping of rock, almost entirely in shadow. The solar-powered batteries need 6-7 hours of sunlight a day in order to continue functioning, but only got about 90-minutes, and what scientists feared would happen did. Early on Saturday morning, the European Space Agency (ESA) lost contact with the lander.

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Humans Have Landed Spacecraft On These Seven Celestial Bodies

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rosettaOn Wednesday, the European Space Agency’s Philae lander made history by being the first spacecraft to land on a comet. Comet 69P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is now the seventh celestial body humans have touched. What are the others? I’m glad you asked because we’re about to run through the list.

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