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China's moon rover Yutu functioning but stationary: Scientist

(Xinhua)    15:56, March 03, 2015

BEIJING, March 3 -- China's first lunar rover Yutu (the Jade Rabbit) is still working but cannot move, a scientist with the lunar probe mission told Xinhua.

The rover, named after the pet of a Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, was launched in late 2013, but its control mechanism failed on its second lunar day before becoming dormant in January 2014.

Yutu, the national pride of the world's third country to soft-land on the moon, was re-awakened, but problems remained.

Ye Peijian, chief scientist of China's Chang'e-3 program, said that the resilient rover had survived longer than its design life of three months.

"For the time being, it can be re-awakened but cannot move," said the scientist, who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body.

Experts said earlier that Yutu might have been damaged by a rock.

Repairing the moon rover could be very difficult with it being 380,000 kilometers from earth and its voltage has dropped after repetitive contraction and expansion due to the 300 degrees centigrade temperature difference between day and night on the moon.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Liang Jun)

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