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China Moon Space

Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight 284

Posted by timothy
from the perhaps-just-a-nap dept.
hackingbear writes "The Chinese moon rover, Jade Rabbit, encountered an abnormality in its control mechanism before its planned sleep during the 14-day-long lunar night. In the form of a diary, the Jade Rabbit said, "The shi-fu ('kung-fu masters,' meaning the scientists and engineers) are working around the clock trying to fix the problem and their eyes look like a rabbit's (red due to fatigue), but I may not be able to survive over this lunar night." (translated, original in Chinese.) The rover landed on the moon on Dec 14 and was designed to operate for three months."
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Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight

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  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:54PM (#46076667)
    Mars doesn't have 2 week long nights without an atmosphere. The Mars rovers get a nice helping of solar power each 24 hr period. If there is a software glitch, you can just fix it the next day. That doesn't work on the Moon.
  • by Megane (129182) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:26PM (#46076877) Homepage
    If I read TFS right, this rover failed before even reaching the first night. So it's had 7/24 sunlight since landing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:32PM (#46076915)

    Shi-fu/Sifu is not a term specific to a 'kung-fu master'. It is refers to someone who is skilled in a profession or of high experience. Likewise, in Japanese the term 'sensi' doesn't equate to a 'karate master', it too is used to refer to someone skilled or experienced, such as a doctor, teacher, or even mentor.

  • by CrankyFool (680025) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:49PM (#46077017)

    Just as an FYI because you may appreciate knowing, it's actually "hear hear." See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:50PM (#46077027)

    Rover talk like Kung-Fu Panda's dad

    Only because of the bad translation. For instance, although "shi fu" can mean "kung fu master", it can also mean any master or expert, and that is clearly what it means in this context. Note to Slashdot editors: Next time, instead of using cut-and-paste from Google translate, find someone that actually understands the language.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @10:19PM (#46077153)

    Mars doesn't have 2 week long nights without an atmosphere. The Mars rovers get a nice helping of solar power each 24 hr period. If there is a software glitch, you can just fix it the next day. That doesn't work on the Moon.

    Greetings, everyone ! Today is the 42th earth day since I've arrived on the moon. I have several good news and one bad news. Which one do you like to hear first ?

    The first good news is that after the 42 days of endeavor I've travelled more than 100 meters. the scientific equipment that I've brought with me - the radar, the panaromic camera, the x-ray scanner, the infra-red scanner, and so on, - have gathered a lot of useful data.

    The second good news is that at dawn time 2 days ago I communicated directly with Ms. Chang'e 3, who is some 20 meters away from me, using the UHF antenna for the first time, without the aid of the "Shi Fu". Although Ms. Chang'e 3 couldn't reply to my message, but I know she would be extremely happy to receive my "love letter". As this was a private message between me and Ms. Chang'e 3, hope that you guys can give us some privacy ...

    The third good news is Ms. Chang'e 3 already went to bed early morning yesterday, preparing for the arrival of 2nd lunar night.

    Now, the bad news.

    I should have gone to bed this morning, but before I went to bed, the "Shi Fu" discovered some abnormalies within my control mechanism, resulting in part of my body isn't responding to command. Right now the "Shi Fu" are cracking their heads to solve this problem, even to the stage of forgoing their beauty nap. Rumor has it that their eyes look more and more like the ones on rabbits.

    Even though with the intervention of the "Shi Fu", I understand that there is a distinct possibility that I may not survive this lunar night....
     
    ....

    Good night, Earth ! Good night, Earthlings !!

  • by ihtoit (3393327) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @10:27PM (#46077211)

    it was a visual inspection, in situ, of Lunar regolith that added weight to the theory of Lunar origin being a result of an impact event on Earth.

    How does this benefit all of humanity? Well, it adds credibility to the many and repeated proposals to exploit the Lunar surface for mineral resources which are demonstrably similar to the proportions found here on Earth, with obvious exceptions being fossil fuels. There is a wealth undreamed of, of such elements as gold, silver, uranium, thorium, lithium, platinum, silicon, lead, even the much lighter and exotic elements such as helium-3 (which alone occurs in quantities enough to solve the energy demand until the sun dies), just waiting for Humanity to quit with the fighting over specific claims over resources on this planet. When (if) that ever comes to pass, then we will be one step closer to expanding our influence for good or bad across the rest of the Solar system.

  • by Ralph Siegler (3506871) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @11:00PM (#46077373)
    Mar's "atmosphere" has about a half a percent of the pressure of Earth's. The rovers do NOT get a nice helping of solar power while they hibernate for five months of martian winter.
  • Re:USA Media sucks (Score:4, Informative)

    by clovis (4684) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @11:32PM (#46077493)

    What newspaper do you read?

    If by "US media", you are talking only about television, then I have to agree.
    The only time I watch news on TV is when I'm on the treadmill at the gym. I assure you that CNN had noted the Jade Rabbit mission before the launch, during the launch, and after the landing. Nothing in-depth, but what can you say about the mission anyway?

    Here's some links (below) from the Atlanta Journal. I think they did a decent job of reporting on it. It's similar to the coverage in most mainstream newspapers.
    http://www.accessatlanta.com/v... [accessatlanta.com]
    http://www.ajc.com/videos/news... [ajc.com]
    http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/inter... [ajc.com]
    http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/top-n... [ajc.com]
    http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/top-n... [ajc.com]
    http://www.accessatlanta.com/v... [accessatlanta.com]
    http://www.accessatlanta.com/v... [accessatlanta.com]
    http://www.ajc.com/videos/news... [ajc.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @11:35PM (#46077515)

    Rover talk like Kung-Fu Panda's dad

    Only because of the bad translation. For instance, although "shi fu" can mean "kung fu master", it can also mean any master or expert, and that is clearly what it means in this context. Note to Slashdot editors: Next time, instead of using cut-and-paste from Google translate, find someone that actually understands the language.

    Remember all the jokes about the silly English translations you see when traveling in China? Well, that's because when China was poor, they have to do the translation to satisfy English visitors. So it was *always* some Chinese's fault when Google Translate gave something stupid.

    Now that China got richer, well, we started to see cases when the table was turned, we see translation errors just as silly. Only now, in these cases, you cannot point at some Chinese and laugh at how stupid they were.

    And, yes, "shi fu" is a general term of "master" of any kind. English natives like Americans usually take it to mean "kung fu master" because that's the only kind of master from China that they can see on TV shows and movies. "Shi fu" is commonly used as a respectful title for referring and addressing to technical workers, including plumbers, electrician, drivers, and of course, programmers and other high-tech workers. Such as asking a plumber: "Shi fu, can this be fixed? how much would this cost?" Nobody in China would automatically take "Shi fu" to mean "Kung fu master", unless you are already in a kung fu school.

  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:16AM (#46077699)
    Well, let's see, they invented movable type printing, a calendar that was as accurate as the Gregorian but developed hundreds of years earlier, percussive cap drilling that was capable of the deepest wells in the early 19th century, paper currency, watertight compartments partitioning ships, dental fillings, dominoes, clockwork escapements, forensic entomology, multi-stage rocketry, pontoon bridges, toilet paper, electronic cigarettes, Non-invasive prenatal diagnostic testing for Down's Syndrome, Synthesis of crystalline bovine insulin, and I know it's cliche, but since you arbitrarily set the period at 1500 years I have to include gunpowder.
  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:22AM (#46077727)
    It's not just China, East Asia as whole loves to anthropomorphosize things. Jesus... have you seen all the x-tans [wikipedia.org] that come out of Japan?
  • by dryeo (100693) on Monday January 27, 2014 @03:38AM (#46078471)

    TFS said it landed on Dec 14th. Assuming it landed at dawn, sunset would have been about the 28th and the sun would have returned about the 11th with its second night starting about the 24th. Since this is the 25th, my numbers are probably slightly off but either way this has to be the second night and it did survive the first night. Not bad for a first attempt, took a few tries for the Americans and Soviets to successfully soft land on the Moon.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday January 27, 2014 @04:20AM (#46078585) Journal
    A fair few [wikipedia.org] spacecraft are nuclear powered... Spirit and Opportunity were solar; but Curiosity is rocking an MMRTG [wikimedia.org] around the Martian surface as we speak.

    I don't know why the Chinese decided to go solar, possibly weight, possibly difficulty in sourcing RTG fuel; but certainly neither the US nor the Russians have been squeamish about nuclear power in space when the mission called for it.

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