• China’s Lunar Rover Is Freezing To Death

    by  • January 27, 2014 • Featured, News • 1 Comment

    Only weeks after the successful wake from the first lunar night on the moon, the first Chinese moon rover, Yutu, experiences technical malfunctions which appears to involve the robots sleep/power down process.

    The rover, which launched in December last year along with it’s lander Chang’e 3 survived their first lunar night, which lasts around 2 earth weeks and woke up earlier this month. During the lunar night the robots need to conserve power, by shutting systems down and keeping the components warm with a radioscopic heat source. At night temperatures plummet to around minus 180 degrees Celsius, a challenge condition for electronics to continue working in.

    Exactly what the issue is still unclear, however the Chinese authority’s have been applauded for their openness on the issues, alongside a wealth of support from fans on the Chinese Twitter equivalent, “Weibo”.

    The robot too has been “weibing”? Micro-blogging its last moments, or rather an unofficial account has on its behalf. Even though we know the tweets weren’t sent by it and it has the same amount of emotional involvement as your household desk lamp, it’s difficult not to anthropomorphize the little robot when reading updates like:

    “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.”

    — Yutu Rover Weibo Account (Translation credit: Vice – Motherboard.)

    With news still unclear, and a language barrier in between, we’ll have to wait on updates.  While this could be a mission ending error, there’s no doubts the Chinese space team will continue to succeed in their endeavours, as they have over recent years with many successful manned space missions.

    We’ll leave you on a note from the little rovers last words:

    “Goodnight, Earth, Goodnight, humanity.”

    — Yutu Rover Weibo Account (Translation credit: Vice – Motherboard.)

    Via: Vice – Motherboard

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