Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:49PM (#46076625)

    Ours just keep going and going... [xkcd.com] like the Energizer bunny.

    • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:54PM (#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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Megane (129182)
        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 @09:19PM (#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 !!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        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.
        • by Immerman (2627577)

          Do we have any Mars rovers close enough to the poles to not get sunlight in winter? I don't think so, which means they all get at least some sunlight in every 25 hour day, unless dust storms blot out the sun. Considering that they're basically in a cheap vacuum thermos it shouldn't take much in the way of a low-wattage heater to keep them warm. Lunar rovers get an even better thermos bottle effect, but those 709-hours days make for some long, cold nights.

          • by Ford Prefect (8777) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:56AM (#46078533) Homepage

            Do we have any Mars rovers close enough to the poles to not get sunlight in winter?

            The non-roving Phoenix [wikipedia.org] Mars probe landed sufficiently far north that reduced sunlight due to an approaching winter caused its (expected) failure. It most likely got buried by carbon dioxide ice later on anyway - orbital photos showed its solar panels got crushed...

            For keeping space probes warm, radioisotope heater units [wikipedia.org] are pretty common. Apparently the Chinese Moon rover has them - but it sounds like it hasn't successfully closed itself up in order to keep heat inside.

      • Not to mention the occasional dust-devil to clean the solar panels.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:00PM (#46076713) Journal
      For perspective's sake, Spirit got stuck in a reboot loop on January 21, 2004, and was down until February 6th when they finished debugging what turned out to be a problem with the flash filesystem.

      If their fault turns out to be more serious, or their system lacks the failsafe systems that would allow recovery from a modestly serious bug, then some snarking may be in order; but they are still within the 'scrambling for a fix' window.
      • by cyfer2000 (548592)
        I heard from unconfirmed source that the problem was mechanical. The solar panels of the "Jade Rabbit" can fold and can act as covers to prevent heat from escaping. One of the solar panels failed to fold.
      • by Tablizer (95088)

        Spirit got stuck in a reboot loop on January 21, 2004, and was down until February 6th

        That was right after it drilled into a pyramid shaped rock. I wonder if China messed with a pyramid or obelisk also.

      • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:00AM (#46077929) Journal

        Spirit got stuck in a reboot loop on January 21, 2004, and was down until February 6th.....problem with the flash filesystem

        From that came one of the greatest Biblical space jokes ever: "The Spirit is willing but the flash it weak".

        • by Maritz (1829006) on Monday January 27, 2014 @03:30AM (#46078619)

          Spirit got stuck in a reboot loop on January 21, 2004, and was down until February 6th.....problem with the flash filesystem

          From that came one of the greatest Biblical space jokes ever: "The Spirit is willing but the flash it weak".

          Must be really something to fight its way to the upper echelons of great bible space jokes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Ours just keep going and going... [xkcd.com] like the Energizer bunny.

      Hopefully, that little guy will get to come home one day.

    • by sconeu (64226) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:24PM (#46077189) Homepage Journal

      For some reason, that XKCD always makes me sad.

    • by hey! (33014) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:00AM (#46077931) Homepage Journal

      Sure... except we had our shares of total or partial failures in our unmanned space program too. The first *six* lunar probes in the 1960's Ranger program failed. We lost Mariners 3 and 8 and Mars Observer. Oh, and we cocked up Hubble's primary mirror because somebody installed a test jig backward, which shows how big missions depend on countless small things to go right.

      Anyhow it's too early to count Jade Rabbit out. Glitches are a fairly regular feature of space missions, if you follow them. It's still quite possible they'll fiddle the thing back into operation.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        The first *six* lunar probes in the 1960's Ranger program failed. We lost Mariners 3 and 8 and Mars Observer.

        I don't think this is quite fair. Technology in the 1960s was downright primitive; that was a time when computers took up whole rooms, and car engines had their fuel metered by Rube Goldbergesque all-mechanical contraptions rather than electronic control systems. Space exploration was brand-new. It's not too surprising that a bunch of late 50s/early 60s-tech space probes crapped out; it was amazi

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:52PM (#46076651)

    They just don't make rovers like they use to

  • Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:06PM (#46076749)

    I don't know. Something like this supersede geopolitics, nationalism, etc., at least for now.

    Good luck, Chinese comrades.

    • Re:Good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tippe (1136385) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:18PM (#46077147)

      I think I agree with this. If the big picture is having humans become space faring (in a meaningful way; not just doing a handfull of short visits to a nearby lifeless rock), then having the Chinese be successful at their space endeavours should be as important to us as it is to them. In the big picture, we are all human, and if the Chinese are successful of conquering space (in a way that the US, Russia, Europe, etc., haven't been able to do), then we all win. Also, if they fail, then so too do we.

      Gook luck, Chinese comrades indeed.

    • I'd like to believe that if we were attacked by aliens all the people of Earth would put aside our petty differences, rally together, and be on the same side for once.

      Of course I'd like to believe we would do that anyway, but I really think it would take an alien invasion to make it happen. *sigh*

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        >and be on the same side for once.

        Would that side happen to be as appetizers with a little lemon juice for flavor? If an alien race capable of traveling between stars ever attacks Earth, our technology will be so badly outclassed that we won't stand a chance.

      • by Derling Whirvish (636322) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:02AM (#46078357) Journal
        Hmm, we have a sort of precedent for that. Did the native peoples of the New World put aside their petty differences, rally together and be on the same side for once when the Europeans came over or did they split apart, some siding with them, some siding against them, some forming temporary alliances for quick gain, some shifting with the wind depending on which side was winning, fighting each other etc? Same for the native peoples of Africa.
        • by Maritz (1829006)
          Human invaders. The comparison with non-human invaders to me, isn't valid. Of course this would work if the alien invaders were like in Star Trek e.g. humans with a specific planet-wide invariant culture and funny noses. :D
  • by Art Challenor (2621733) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:07PM (#46076755)
    The Jade Rabbit is an awesome piece of scientific equipment, and it's on the moon. Let's hope if makes it through the night and continues to send data that will benefit all of humanity.
    • What could Jade Rabbit teach us that wasn't already learned by Kim Jung Il during his trip to the moon?

      • by rvw (755107)

        What could Jade Rabbit teach us that wasn't already learned by Kim Jung Il during his trip to the moon?

        How we can keep him there next time!

  • by msobkow (48369) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:15PM (#46076819) Homepage Journal

    I do hope they resolve the problem and keep going. It would be such an embarassment to China to have it fail on it's first night out.

    You can make all the jokes you want about "Cheap Chinese Crap" you want, but you know as well as I do that when it comes to stuff that isn't intended for the dollar store sale bins, China can make as good a piece of hardware as anyone else. They wouldn't have made it to the moon in the first place if their rocket had been built with toy-maker electronics instead of mil-spec.

    • by Rick Zeman (15628)

      I do hope they resolve the problem and keep going. It would be such an embarassment to China to have it fail on it's first night out.

      You can make all the jokes you want about "Cheap Chinese Crap" you want, but you know as well as I do that when it comes to stuff that isn't intended for the dollar store sale bins, China can make as good a piece of hardware as anyone else. They wouldn't have made it to the moon in the first place if their rocket had been built with toy-maker electronics instead of mil-spec.

      Or if they hadn't raided the US aerospace industry with APTs.

    • Except they get their tech from the Russians (while we still are scrounging around with the stuff we stole from the Germans after WWII).

      • Except they get their tech from the Russians (while we still are scrounging around with the stuff we stole from the Germans after WWII).

        Uh huh. And just where do you think the Russians got their tech from?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:32PM (#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 thue (121682)

    > The shi-fu ('kung-fu masters,' meaning the scientists and engineers)

    According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], shifu means master craftsman [wikipedia.org]. Though that obviously also covers kung-fu masters, I don't think that is what the Chinese were alluding to!

    I think somebody has been watching too many Hong Kong kung-fu movies.

    • by tippe (1136385)

      "Shi-fu" are what Kung-fu black-belts are called. Similar to "sensei" for karate, I think. I don't think the use of 'shi-fu' was incorrect or un-intended; it's what they meant to say.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:44PM (#46076987)

    and already this USA #1-bullshit. Your country is the biggest melting pot of foreign scientists and researchers in the world, and there is nothing made in the USA today which does not build upon and directly involve talent from all over the world. You are not entitled.

    The Chinese have made the whole world proud with this achievement, and you should not let your envy and superiority complex get the better of you.

    • by DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:50PM (#46077025) Homepage

      This is a really weird feeling. I'm 90% sure you're a Chinese propagandist, but I 100% agree with your words.

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @11:58PM (#46077917)

        I mean let's see what's in the thread right now: An energizer bunny joke about the US mars rovers, someone saying good luck to the Chinese and how this transcends politics, someone saying Jade Rabbit is awesome, someone who hopes they resolve the problem, someone correcting the use of shi-fu, and then this.

        So basically, he's making shit up. The higher rated comments are nearly all encouragement, and the one referencing the US rovers is a joke. This moron wants there to be a bunch of US nationalism for him to hate on, but there's not, so he just pretends like there is anyhow. He's making up reasons for US hate/China strong.

        Also there's the stupid crap of trying to make the US look bad because "Your country is the biggest melting pot of foreign scientists and researchers in the world." As though the US is so stupid and has to import foreigners to do any work. No, quite the opposite actually: American universities are still some of the very best research institutions in the world, despite all the cuts and problems, and people come from around the world to work at them and do research. The US is a melting pot precisely because of the excellence of its research institutions, and in allowing people from all over to come, it helps to continue that excellence and enrich the world's knowledge.

        The grandparent is just a jackass. He really wants this to be some kind of China hate thread so he can hate on that to try and deflect things from the rover's problem. Instead it is a thread largely of people saying "Good luck China, we hope you fix the problem and your rover continues to work."

    • Welcome to the internet. Just yesterday, there was an article about Kentucky and most of the initial comments were bigoted nonsense. Blame nationalism if you like, but understand that such comments come from people who are just as likely to denigrate their own countrymen. If you value your sanity, please don't take such behavior personally.
    • What's great about the US is that we welcome people from all countries and backgrounds. We should be proud of our multi-culturalism unlike the exclusionary Chinese pride that everything can be done by the Chinese.

      We're proud of our pragmatism and pointing out the failures of blind nationalism trumping all else. The Mars Rover was first and foremost a nationalist chest bumping to prop up a political regime--and a scientific mission second. That's not unlike the cold war but at least in the cold war we we

  • Good Luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:16PM (#46077135)

    With the recent successes of the Mars rovers it's hard to remember that conditions in space are a super difficult thing to deal with. It's a huge feat all by itself to land on the moon with a functioning rover at all, as China did... so if this rover falters hopefully they'll learn from it and build another.

    Better still it wakes up again and keeps going for them.

    Good Luck China!

  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:18PM (#46077149)
    Limited warranty, 90 days.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yea, just return it in original packaging for a full replacement.
    • just like on ebay, getting the thing to you is cheap; but if you have to return it, OH BOY are you in for a shock of a shipping charge.

  • Those kids that they had build that will be so disappointed. Might have to go back to building iphones.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I know it's wrong but I laughed anyway. No mod points so I can't help you with the guys who are too PC to appreciate a tasteless joke.

  • Didn't Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" sing a song called "Moon Rover"?

    That's the first thought I had when I saw this topic.

  • Lasted longer than than the US brand name appliances I buy nowadays...

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

Working...