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Moon China

China's Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover Officially Declared Lost 131

An anonymous reader writes "'Jade Rabbit,' the first lunar rover successfully deployed by China, has now been officially declared 'lost.' The rover encountered problems on January 25th, just over a month into its planned three-month mission. 'The rover's mechanical problems are likely related to critical components that must be protected during the cold lunar night. When temperatures plunge, the rover's mast is designed to fold down to protect delicate instruments, which can then be kept warm by a radioactive heat source. Yutu also needs to angle a solar panel towards the point where the sun will rise to maintain power levels. A mechanical fault in these systems could leave the rover fatally exposed to the dark and bitter cold.'"
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China's Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover Officially Declared Lost

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  • China is ascending (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @07:13PM (#46233471)

    China is ascending the learning curve. Space provides a lot of tough problems. I wonder how many more visits NASA will be getting in the future, both official, and "unofficial"?

    NASA's Strict Rules for Talking to and Working with China []

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @08:23PM (#46234057) Homepage Journal

    Viking is irrelevant to the point GP was making, which is that the US maintained its program capabilities with a series of modest, affordable missions rather than waiting another decade to launch a more expensive, complex mission.

    Viking was conceived and developed at the tail end of the Apollo era, and cost $934 million in 1974 dollars -- roughly 4.6 billion in present day terms. That wasn't much by the standards of the day, but Pathfinder was developed in a totally different era, an era with much more advanced technology, but much more constrained budgets. Pathfinder cost less than 1/10 of what Viking's cost ($406 million in present day dollars) and met all of its mission objectives. It was a brilliant success, not only on its own terms, but in establishing that tent-pole projects aren't the only way to do planetary exploration.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes