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China Moon Space

Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight 284

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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:44PM (#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 @09:50PM (#46077025)

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

  • by taiwanjohn ( 103839 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:27AM (#46077749)

    Since this is their first lunar rover, there's no precedent either way. However it is normal for Chinese to speak of themselves in 3rd-pers in some situations. This is due to their emphasis on titles instead of names. For example, a parent might say, "Daddy wants you to brush your teeth," instead of "I want you to..." This general pattern is used whenever there is a title of some sort, such as boss, uncle, doctor, mayor, etc..

    That said, I have no idea whether the GP's translation is authentic. I haven't been following this news in the Chinese press. It's a bit over the top, but I wouldn't put it past them, especially as a tactic to engage children with STEM education. It strikes me as the sort of thing Western broadcasters do at Christmas, showing "Santa's sleigh" on the weather radar.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:00AM (#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 Derling Whirvish ( 636322 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @03:02AM (#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 Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @03:36AM (#46078461) Homepage

    It's entering its second lunar night - it landed on the Moon on December 14th.

  • by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @03:56AM (#46078533) Homepage

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

    The non-roving Phoenix [] 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 [] 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.

  • more nukes now (Score:5, Interesting)

    by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:10AM (#46078929) Journal

    No new plutonium is allowed to be manufactured

    I hope this ends soon. Robert Oppenheimer and others proposed a central global authority to control the world's plutonium. Since we know we only have so much left, each interested country could take part in a new organization that starts from scratch with no historical precedents hanging over it and use the plutonium only for space exploration.

    Each country could & would want to contribute because everyone wants to get back into space & nuclear power helps alot.

    In general I think nuclear power's time has come. You can list all the dangers but we have the same vulnerability with anything. Just look at the recent rail cars carrying oil products that crashed and burned in Canada almost destroying a whole town & killing 30+ people.

  • Re:more nukes now (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Code Yanker ( 2359188 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:45PM (#46081497)

    The problem is cost.

    The problem is IMPOSED cost. We IMPOSE cost on nuclear because, despite it's amazing track record of safety normalized for Terawatt-hours produced, the one accident where fewer than 70 people actually died from the radiation (despite the fact that its primary purpose was for enriching weapons grade nuclear material, not energy and had third-world safety controls) was heavily publicized. 70 people fall of their roofs in different parts of the world for a trickle of solar power and it is as "statistic." 70 people die from radiation for the oceans of energy nuclear has produced, and it is a "disaster."

    in the UK the government has to provide insurance since no commercial insurer would even consider it.

    Insurance companies profit by dispersing the risk of low-frequency-high-cost events over multiple parties. For any given event, the frequency multiplied by the cost of the event must be less than the premium. Nuclear meets this requirement! But there is a second requirement called "ruin capacity" that derives from a statistical nicety in the central limit theorem: The cost of a single event must be much lower than the operating cost of the risk-aggregating party, so that the off-chance of a single event wouldn't put the company at risk of going out of business. []

    This is not true for any single insurer in the UK, but it is true for the government. Thus, an insurer could not profit from a nuclear power plant, but the government could.

    There are too many competitive alternatives now.

    There are no alternatives that are as safe and reliable as nuclear power. Fossil fuels? Not nearly as safe as nuclear. Hydro? Not nearly as safe as nuclear. Wind/Solar? Not reliable enough to generate base load electricity without energy storage. Energy storage? Not even close to becoming economically viable yet. Germany is the closest any major power has come to ditching fossil fuels for renewables, with a whopping 25% reduction in fossil fuel dependency. []

    But renewables can't produce energy on-demand without expensive energy storage mechanisms. So Germany can't actually CONSUME that energy without the help of rate agreements from their nuclear-producing neighbors like France. []

    France, by contrast, ditched fossil fuels for a primarily nuclear-based strategy a long time ago. The result? 90+% reduction in fossil fuel usage. []

    By all measures, nuclear is winning.

    because the extremely powerful newspapers hate all the alternatives.

    [Citation needed]

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor