China's lunar rover alive, but still crippled | Science News



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China's lunar rover alive, but still crippled

Chang'e-3 lunar lander

Yutu, China's moon rover, snapped this undated image of the Chang'e-3 lunar lander. The lander is operating normally, but the rover still suffers from mechanical issues.

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The mechanical issues that crippled China's lunar rover persisted as the rover fell into a planned slumber on February 23.

The rover, Yutu, is transmitting signals, and its cameras and radar are functioning. But mission controllers are struggling to maneuver the rover. In the 10 days since Yutu's dramatic reawaking, the rover has only been able to perform observations from a fixed point, according to a Chinese state media report

A problem with the rover was first announced on January 25. Chang'e 3, the lunar lander that carried Yutu to the moon, continues to operate normally. Both the lander and rover are currently in a planned sleep. Mission controllers will try again to restore full function to Yutu in roughly two weeks.

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