Posts Tagged ‘Yutu’

Jade Bunny paralysed but still taking pictures

February 26, 2014

Chang’e 3’s Jade Bunny is not quite dead. It is stuck in its present position but can still take pictures.

Jade Bunny on the moon (undated)

Jade Bunny on the moon (undated)

The Chang’e-3 lander entered its third dormancy on early Feb. 23, 2014. China’s lunar rover Yutu also entered the dormancy on Feb. 22, with the mechanical control issues that might cripple the vehicle still unresolved. According to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND), Yutu only carried out fixed point observations during its third lunar day, equivalent to about two weeks on Earth. Yutu’s radar, panorama camera and infrared imaging equipment are functioning normally, the control issues that have troubled the rover since January persist. (Xinhua/SASTIND)

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China’s Jade Bunny apparently stuck on the moon

January 26, 2014

(I see that Chinese news reports usually translate “Yutu” as “Jade Rabbit” but from this version of the legend I prefer “Jade Bunny” as being more appropriate to the lunar creatures who went to Chang’e’s assistance and where the reincarnation of her husband Hou Yi was the Jade Bunny)

In a setback – apparently due to the difficult lunar terrain, the Jade Bunny lunar rover has suffered a “mechanical control abnormality” – which I take to mean that it is stuck and not responding to commands. China Daily has the story

China’s moon rover, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), has experienced a mechanical control anomaly, and scientists are organizing repairs. The abnormality occurred due to “complicated lunar surface environment,” the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said on Saturday, without giving further details. The abnormality emerged before the rover entered its second dormancy at dawn on Saturday asthe lunar night fell, according to SASTIND.

The lander, another part of the Chang’e-3 probe, also “fell asleep” earlier on Friday. The pair went dormant for two weeks about one month ago when the first lunar night of the mission occurred.

 ….. The Chang’e-3 lunar probe soft-landed on the Moon on December 14. Yutu separated from the lander hours later.

The success of the Chang’e-3 mission makes China the third country to soft-land a spacecraft on lunar soil after the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Lunar panorama: Chang’e 3 lander in Out of this World

Jade Bunny on the moon on 22nd December 2013 (photo Xinhua)

Jade Bunny on the moon on 22nd December 2013
(photo Xinhua)

Chang’e 3’s Jade Bunny begins gambolling on the moon

December 15, 2013

Chang’e 3 landed on the moon on Saturday and her Jade Bunny has now started gambolling on the moon.

China’s first lunar rover separates from Chang’e-3 moon lander early Dec. 15, 2013. Picture was taken from the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Li Xin)

Xinhua:China’s first moon rover, Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, separated from the lander early on Sunday, several hours after the Chang’e-3 probe soft-landed on the lunar surface.

The 140 kg six-wheeled rover touched the lunar surface at 4:35 a.m., leaving deep trace on the loose lunar soil. The process was recorded by the camera on the lander and the images were sent to the earth, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

After the separation, the rover and lander will take photos of each other and start their own scientific explorations.

Engineers made final checks of the environment of the landing site, the situation of the probe and the solar incidence angle late night on Saturday and sent signals of separation to Chang’e-3.

Yutu, atop the probe, extended its solar panel and started to drive slowly to the transfer mechanism at 3:10.

The transfer mechanism unlocked at 4:06 with one side reaching the moon’s surface, allowing the rover to descend to the surface following a ladder mechanism.

Chang’e-3 landed on the moon’s Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, at 9:11 p.m. Saturday, making China the third country in the world to carry out such a rover mission after the United States and former Soviet Union. 

In ancient Chinese mythology, Yutu was the white pet rabbit of the lunar goddess Chang’e. The name for the rover was selected following an online poll that collected several million votes from people around the world. 

The rover, 1.5 meters long with its two wings folded, 1 m in width and 1.1 m in height, is a highly efficient robot controlled by the command center from the earth. It will face challenges including temperature differences of more than 300 degrees Celsius on the moon. 

Yutu will survey the moon’s geological structure and surface substances and look for natural resources for three months, while the lander will conduct in-situ exploration at the landing site for one year.

 


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