Universe Today’s Ken Kremer shared the good news. (What, I wonder, is the current state of affairs?)
The little ‘rabbit’ beloved worldwide has now phoned home and actually survived the perils of the long lunar night and is alive and awake to start a 3rd day of scientific exploration despite suffering a serious malfunction as it entered the latest hibernation period two weeks ago.
“Yutu has come back to life!” said Pei Zhaoyu, the spokesperson for China’s lunar probe program, according to a breaking news report by the state owned Xinhua news agency.
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Yutu’s new lease on life also comes after Monday’s (Feb. 11) premature report of the robots demise by the state owned China News Service, reported here.
However, “Yutu failed to power-up Monday [Feb 11] and data about its current condition and repair progress is still being collected and analyzed,” Xinhua and CCTV (China state run television) reported.
This indicates that Yutu was in fact feared lost for some time by the mission team, until further efforts finally resulted in the detection of a signal from the spacecraft – and a welcome reversal of yesterdays news!
The robot “has now been restored to its normal signal reception function,” says Pei.
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But much technical work remains ahead for the engineering and science teams to ascertain why it malfunctioned and whether the six wheeled rover can be restored to partial or full functionality.