We here at GFR had been quite enjoying the images and video sent back by China’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover over the past few weeks. But suddenly: disaster! Last week word came that J.R. was in trouble. Or, as the Xinhua news agency put it, it had suffered a “mechanical control abnormality,” which the State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defence said was caused by the “complicated lunar surface environment.” In short: the Moon done busted it. Now the rover is unlikely to survive the next lunar night cycle. But if Jade Rabbit is facing the twilight of its short but noteworthy career, at least it will be remembered…and by Patrick Stewart in a silly hat, no less.
Yes, Jon Stewart’s Daily Show recently presented a segment about Jade Rabbit’s troubles, including the surreal phenomenon of Jade Rabbit “tweeting” about its own impending demise. Of course, simple text can’t always properly convey the emotions of a lunar rover considering its own mortality. So naturally, they called in Sir Patrick Stewart, acclaimed Shakespearean actor and Knight of Great Britain, to give Jade Rabbit’s farewell speech the proper emotional oomph.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely got tears in my eyes. They may or may not be the result of laughter. Who can say? All I know is that Sir Patrick has finally found an outfit more ridiculous than that lobster getup. Between this and his Super Bowl Twitter back-and-forth with former Wesley Crusher, the esteemed British actor continues to entertain the hell out of us, in ways we never would have expected back when he was playing a proper, staid starship captain.
So now Jade Rabbit will shut down for two weeks, and it remains to be seen if it will survive that long, cold lunar night. Before it ventures into the undiscovered country, here’s the text of Jade Rabbit’s farewell speech to humanity. You hang in there, little buddy. Maybe the aliens occupying that secret base on the dark side of the moon will come rescue you.
Although I should’ve gone to bed this morning, my masters discovered something abnormal with my mechanical control system. My masters are staying up all night working for a solution. I heard their eyes are looking more like my red rabbit eyes. Nevertheless, I’m aware that I might not survive this lunar night.
If this journey must come to an early end, I am not afraid. Whether or not the repairs are successful, I believe even my malfunctions will provide my masters with valuable information and experience.
The sun has already set here and the temperature is falling very quickly. I’ve said a lot today, yet still feel like it’s not enough. I’ll tell everyone a secret. Actually, I’m not feeling especially sad. Just like any other hero, I’ve only encountered a little problem while on my own adventure.
Good night, planet Earth. Good night, humanity.