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China`s moon rover goes into third planned dormancy

Last Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 21:32

Zee Media Bureau

Beijing: China`s first lunar rover Jade Rabbit has entered its third “planned dormancy”. It had woken up ten days ago after being declared dead and now has entered its 14-day dormancy yesterday, with the mechanical control issues unresolved.

Experts had feared that it might never function again, but Yutu woke up on February 12, two days behind schedule. The news had caused a stir in China`s social networking circles and now it has again gone into dormancy until the technical issues get corrected.
The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) reports that Yutu only carried out fixed point observations during its third lunar day, equivalent to about two weeks on Earth.

Yutu touched down on the moon`s surface on December 15, some hours after lunar probe Chang`e-3 landed. Yutu`s radar, panorama camera and infrared imaging equipment are functioning normally, but the control issues that have troubled the rover since January persist.

The rover was designed to roam the lunar surface for at least three months to survey the moon`s geological structure and surface substances and look for natural resources.

But problems emerged before the rover entered its second dormancy on the moon on January 25 as the lunar night fell.
According to SASTIND, the mechanic control abnormality occurred due to the "complicated lunar surface".

After United States and the Soviet Union, China is the third country to soft-land on the moon. Chang`e-3 is part of the second phase of China`s lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth.

(With Agency Inputs)

First Published: Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 21:31

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