China's Jade Rabbit moon rover has 'abnormality'

Jan 25, 2014
This screen grab, taken from a CCTV footage, shows a photo of the Jade Rabbit moon rover, taken by the Chang'e-3 probe lander on December 15, 2013

China's Jade Rabbit moon rover has experienced a "mechanical control abnormality", state media said on Saturday, in what appears to be a setback for a landmark mission in the country's ambitious space programme.

The abnormality occurred due to "the complicated lunar surface environment," the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND).

Scientists were "organising an overhaul", the report added, without giving further details.

There were no reports of the abnormality on SASTIND's website.

The Jade Rabbit, or Yutu in Chinese, was deployed on the moon's surface on December 15, several hours after the Chang'e-3 probe landed.

The mission is a huge source of pride in China, the third country to successfully send a to the moon, after the United States and the former Soviet Union.

The landing was the first of its kind since the former Soviet Union's mission nearly four decades ago.

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PS3
2.2 / 5 (12) Jan 25, 2014
A crushing defeat as Opportunity just made 10 years on Mars.
antialias_physorg
4.7 / 5 (16) Jan 25, 2014
Will you leave your ultra-nationalism on Earth for cyring out loud?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (12) Jan 25, 2014
Will you leave your ultra-nationalism on Earth for cyring out loud?
It must pain you to be forced to use English with American idioms in order to communicate in an international forum.

Say as far as those lessons go aa, maybe you need some more? Americans have forced you to get rid of those silly umlauts and B-shaped esses. Soon you'll be discarding all the extra letters which resulted. And soon after that you will see the futility of all those gender-based articles and get rid of them as well.

Thanks to the US your medieval language will finally be functional and you won't have to talk so fast any more to convey ideas at comparable speeds. Echt?

Re the little rabbit rover maybe they should have asked us for a design review?
ab3a
5 / 5 (8) Jan 25, 2014
I hate seeing endeavors such as this get in trouble.

My concern is that lunar dust is very abrasive and that it may have gotten in to places where it did some damage. I hope that the Chinese engineers can think of some work-around and that we can all learn from this.
antialias_physorg
4.9 / 5 (12) Jan 25, 2014
It must pain you to be forced to use English with American idioms in order to communicate in an international forum.

Why should it pain me? I speak/write american as well as I speak/write german...so it doesn't bother me to use either language.

Language is like a toolbox: use the tool that works. Each language has its advantages (german can express some things more concise than english and vice versa)

Americans have forced you to get rid of those silly umlauts and B-shaped esses.

The funny thing is: I actually have one of those ßs in my name - which is pretty cool, because that way, in international contexts, people have no problem remembering my name.

Knowing several languages is always a good thing. It broadens the mind, as a language also is an expression of a certain mindset. being able to compare/contrast mindsets is a good way to learn tolerance. So I'd encourage anyone to learn at least two languages to native speaker level.
Osiris1
5 / 5 (6) Jan 25, 2014
I too have an 'ess-set' in my ancestral name, but that is beside the point. The point is, we are ALL human, and the Jade Rabbit is ours as well as China's for it is the creation of our species. And it is doing valuable work to further the knowledge of man. ALL men. I would guess the moon dust has something to do with it. China will learn from this experience, and probably share this with us so that other moon rovers and later crew transport vehicles when we colonize the place to mine Helium-3 will not have the same problems. I feel the Jade Rabbit's design might have incorporated some means to deal with dust or whatever is affecting it, so let us watch and see how it is fixed, and learn.
Skepticus
4.4 / 5 (5) Jan 25, 2014
All I can see here that chest-thumping monkey instincts are still going strong and give no signs of abating. Bloody hell! you are not on trees anymore. Homo Sapiens my arse!
nkalanaga
5 / 5 (6) Jan 25, 2014
Osiris1: I agree that this setback could be as important as any scientific discovery. If it is something in the Lunar environment, and they can determine what, it could save a manned mission a lot of trouble. on the other hand, if it's a simple design or manufacturing flaw, they can fix it on the next rover.

For those rejoicing because it's China's failure, how many missions has YOUR country launched, and how many worked perfectly?
stripeless_zebra
2 / 5 (8) Jan 25, 2014
Another one bites the dust! I see a sticker on it "Made in China" :)
big_hairy_jimbo
4.8 / 5 (4) Jan 25, 2014
This is a shame. However, success usually follows a list of failures, especially when it comes to space endeavours. I also can understand Antialias comments, as every article seems to have to beat the chinese pride drum, but I guess they ARE proud, and maybe they should be too!!!

A bit of cheek here, but I'm guessing the rover driver rolled it into a crater, so the rover is lying on its back!!! (lol). The moons low gravity and undulating surface is a mine field for rover flipping!!
baudrunner
3.5 / 5 (4) Jan 25, 2014
Chinese Space Agency could take a lesson from NASA here. The Curiosity rover has 17 cameras. There are four hazard avoidance cameras (Hazcams) in front and four in back, to image real estate around the wheels. They are there for the sole purpose of keeping the rover from accidentally backing into a pothole and getting stuck there. Then there are the navigation cameras, used while roving. The one that takes the color images of interesting Martian landscapes is located on a mast, so it can look around, therefore it is called the Mastcam. It's the one that takes the important pictures, although I have a collection of interesting UFO images taken by Hazcams and Navcams. It appears that if you stand (or have a seat) on the Martian surface, and look up into the sky long enough, you'll eventually see a UFO whizzing by in the Martian sky. Especially in the evening. Either some Igigi, or Alalu's exiles. Probably both.
philstacy9
2.2 / 5 (5) Jan 25, 2014
I am hoping the quality control on Chinese weapons is even worse.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.5 / 5 (4) Jan 25, 2014
Chinese Space Agency could take a lesson from NASA here. The Curiosity rover has 17 cameras. There are four hazard avoidance cameras (Hazcams) in front and four in back, to image real estate around the wheels. They are there for the sole purpose of keeping the rover from accidentally backing into a pothole and getting stuck there. Then there are the navigation cameras, used while roving. The one that takes the color images of interesting Martian landscapes is located on a mast, so it can look around, therefore it is called the Mastcam. It's the one that takes the important pictures, although I have a collection of interesting UFO images taken by Hazcams and Navcams.
-But the Japanese wouldn't sell them any cameras and so they were out of luck.
alfie_null
4 / 5 (5) Jan 26, 2014
I feel for the guy in the driver's seat when the problem happened.
Doug_Huffman
4 / 5 (3) Jan 26, 2014
So I should return the Jade Rabbit to Great WalMart of China, whence I just bought it for my girlfriend?
phorbin
4.3 / 5 (4) Jan 26, 2014
I am hoping the quality control on Chinese weapons is even worse.


Do consider the full implications.
nkalanaga
4 / 5 (3) Jan 26, 2014
Phorbin: Agreed. Suppose the weapon fails - by firing when it isn't supposed to. Anyone for an accidental nuclear war?
gwrede
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 26, 2014
IIRC, technically China is the SECOND country to put a rover on the Moon.

The Americans never did. What they had, was a vehicle, a car for astronauts. (Well, several, actually, but that's not the point here.)

No disrespect intended. Obviously putting men on the Moon is the #1 prize. But that's a separate championship altogether.
bcode
5 / 5 (2) Jan 27, 2014
IIRC, technically China is the SECOND country to put a rover on the Moon.

The Americans never did. What they had, was a vehicle, a car for astronauts. (Well, several, actually, but that's not the point here.)

No disrespect intended. Obviously putting men on the Moon is the #1 prize. But that's a separate championship altogether.


"A lunar rover or Moon rover is a space exploration vehicle (rover) designed to move across the surface of the Moon. Some rovers have been designed to transport members of a human spaceflight crew, such as the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle; others have been partially or fully autonomous robots, such as Lunokhod 1 and Yutu. As of 2013, three countries have had rovers on the Moon: the Soviet Union, the United States and China."
ROBTHEGOB
not rated yet Jan 28, 2014
Jade Turtle.
Wolf358
not rated yet Jan 28, 2014
Who hacked the rabbit?
rkolter
5 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2014
Let's not bash nations or nationalism here. Good grief.

It sucks that one of the few rovers we science geeks have out there is not working, and I hope they figure out how to fix it.
Requiem
3 / 5 (2) Jan 28, 2014
Personally, I do feel a bit of "that chest-thumping monkey instinct" that many others have expressed here, but it's not because I'm nationalist(although I am American), it's because China has intentionally done this alone for no reason other than ultra-nationalism. Just like the rest of their internationally obtuse space program. The rest of the world, including NASA, rarely make mistakes like this because they COOPERATE WITH THE WORLD. It shouldn't have to be noted that many complicated mechanical things have been operated for(and well beyond) their design life on the moon, including wheeled machines. Before I was born. This is not something the world will learn from, and regardless of what many of you would like to think, China wouldn't be inclined to share even if it was.

Obviously we all lose here, but I have to admit taking a bit of pleasure in watching them reap what they've sown.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2014
it's because China has intentionally done this alone for no reason other than ultra-nationalism
The US has prudent laws restricting the transfer of dangerous tech to once and future enemies.

"ITAR – the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. This complex US legislation is designed to prohibit the export of weapons and weapons technology for use by America's enemies.

"This may sound perfectly sensible, but because there are significant overlaps between defence and space, it has had the effect of blocking the sharing of almost all US space technology with China. Not just rockets or satellites but their smallest components."
Requiem
5 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2014
it's because China has intentionally done this alone for no reason other than ultra-nationalism
The US has prudent laws restricting the transfer of dangerous tech to once and future enemies.

"ITAR – the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. This complex US legislation is designed to prohibit the export of weapons and weapons technology for use by America's enemies.

"This may sound perfectly sensible, but because there are significant overlaps between defence and space, it has had the effect of blocking the sharing of almost all US space technology with China. Not just rockets or satellites but their smallest components."


Yes, and this is because of their complete lack of interest in cooperation with the international norms and organizations that have made space about exploration about cooperative science since before the end of the cold war.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Jan 29, 2014
Yes, and this is because of their complete lack of interest in cooperation with the international norms and organizations that have made space about exploration about cooperative science since before the end of the cold war.
Well lately it's about their belligerent stance against our allies in the region, and also china is

"engaged in espionage overseas, thought to be directed primarily through the Ministry of State Security (MSS). It is suspected of employing a variety of tactics including cyber spying to gain access to sensitive information remotely and physical agents (HUMINT). China is believed to be engaged in industrial espionage aimed at gathering information to bolster its economy"

-IOW they still pose a potential military threat. But it is good to have real enemies engaged in serious competition. One can never trust ones defenses unless they are assaulted by a genuine foe. No one upgrades unless they are forced to. This strengthens both sides.
Requiem
5 / 5 (2) Jan 29, 2014
-IOW they still pose a potential military threat. But it is good to have real enemies engaged in serious competition. One can never trust ones defenses unless they are assaulted by a genuine foe. No one upgrades unless they are forced to. This strengthens both sides.


No nation poses any type of military threat to the USA homeland except by way of nuclear weapons, which are a red herring. Even if China had the same conventional arsenal that the USA has - carrier groups, cruise missile submarines and all complimented by copious forward operating bases in the theater, they would still have as much ability to occupy the USA as they do right now. And it would take them 20-50 years to match the experience and operational capability that the USA currently has to project power in that way even if they spent the money.

And how, exactly, does mutually escalating destructive capabilities represent strength? You don't think we can already do this stuff well enough for anything other than some fictional future occupation of a superpower?

I think it's worth noting that not only are nuclear weapons a red herring, but they also make this fictional scenario a red herring. No superpower will sit idly by and watch it's sovereignty be overtaken by conventional means without escalating the conflict to the nuclear arena.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
No nation poses any type of military threat to the USA
You are naive because you are uninformed. You are uninformed because you are lazy. You are lazy because you are irresponsible. Etc.

"here is still plenty to fear from Chinese cyberattacks... Military targets include the entire US defense community, including US intelligence and the defense industry. Law firms contracted with major US defense contractors and the Pentagon are "quite vulnerable"

-China doesn't need to attack the mainland US to do us damage:

"The Japanese government that recently announced its decision to increase its defense arsenal, primarily to counter China's threat, has an ally in India. The Indian government too has increasingly been worried about the growing threat from China over land-border issues"

-They can draw us into a regional conflict by attacking our allies as they did in Korea.
Requiem
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
I like how you left out homeland there. Reading comprehension is obviously not your forte, you're blabbering about conflicts in their region and cyber attacks, and I was talking about a military threat to the homeland and occupation. Well done.

You're the truly ignorant one if you think that cyberattacks = projecting power, or if you think that any other nation in the world is remotely close to projecting non-nuclear power.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
Cyber attacks on our military and attacks on our allies can cause our economy to crash, people to starve, etc. Why would you think that actually having troops landing in redondo beach would be the only way to hurt US citizens?

We dont share miltech with china because they could hurt us and our allies abroad, and potentially in space.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
cyberattacks = projecting power
Cyberattacks are the very definition of power projection. They can crash power grids, cause planes to fall from the sky, destroy factory equipment (like israel did to iraqi centrifuges) and even cause meltdowns.

They can wreak economic destruction, crash markets, empty corporate bank accounts, cause dams and communications networks to fail and satellites to lose orbit. They can disrupt food, water, and fuel distribution. They can cause train wrecks and destroy refineries.

This is the equivalent of having bombers or ICBMs in our skies.
Requiem
not rated yet Jan 30, 2014
And none of that threatens the sovereignty of the nation.

And if it did, nuclear escalation would occur.
Requiem
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
Are you seriously comparing congesting networks and attacking data systems which are backed up with operating F-18s from carriers and launching cruise missiles?

Did you forget that we were talking about how you think it'd be great if the USA got into some kind of cold-war scenario because China(who already has an ICBM arsenal) landed a broken rover on the moon?

Maybe you haven't realized that a successful attack on the USA's financial infrastructure(or, by proxy it's power grid) would piss the entire world off, bring their ire?

Maybe you think China would hack all of our silos and SSBNs as well?
Requiem
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
I'd also like to point out that your argument is based entirely on conjecture. I'm not going to bother arguing the point of network congestion and data systems, it's likely that they have or could have the capability to compromise the systems of many financial and infrastructure institutions and network congestion is a simple matter, but I will argue the point that they might be able to do something like blow out transformers all over the place. I'm not saying you're wrong, but you ARE saying you're right. The fact of the matter is that neither of us know.

Probably best to leave that type of stuff to the guys who don't mind spending 500b/yr on defense and have access to actual information on the topic.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014

And none of that threatens the sovereignty of the nation
I dont believe you know what the word means.

Sovereignty
a: supreme power especially over a body politic
[If someone is destroying your military then you lose power]
b: freedom from external control : autonomy
[If an outside power is starving your people and destroying your infrastructure then you are no longer under control]
c: controlling influence
[If an outside power is destroying your communications networks then you are no longer in control]
Are you seriously comparing congesting networks and attacking data systems which are backed up with operating F-18s from carriers and launching cruise missiles?
WHATS THE DIFFERENCE if you destroy a reactor or dam with a bomb or a virus?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
based entirely on conjecture
More ignorance.

"Cyberwarfare... seen as analogous to conventional warfare... Computers and satellites that coordinate other activities are vulnerable components of a system and could lead to the disruption of equipment. Compromise of military systems, such as C4ISTAR components that are responsible for orders and communications could lead to their interception or malicious replacement. Power, water, fuel, communications, and transportation infrastructure all may be vulnerable to disruption. According to Clarke, the civilian realm is also at risk, noting that the security breaches have already gone beyond stolen credit card numbers, and that potential targets can also include the electric power grid, trains, or the stock market... (NERC) has issued a public notice that warns that the electrical grid is not adequately protected from cyber attack."

"Russian nuclear power plant infected by Stuxnet malware"
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
"When China's top generals warned against building the Three Gorges Dam in the 1980s, fearing it would become a "strategic target" for China's enemies, they imagined the weapon of choice would be dam buster bombs... Now, 25 years later, as the threat of cyber warfare grows...

"If someone hacks into the system and takes over, we will be blinded and disabled. It could cause more destruction than a bomb."... catastrophic dam failure at Three Gorges would "rank as one of history's worst man-made disasters."

"China's generals considered dams "strategic targets" because of their potential to suddenly release vast quantities of water, causing massive loss of life and chaos to civil defences. Bunker busting bombs could cause such catastrophic releases. So could uncontrolled overtopping caused by the failure of sluice gates to open..."

-This of course could happen to ANY dam ANYWHERE
based entirely on conjecture
And an actual invasion isnt? Which do you think is a more credible threat?
Requiem
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
Ok, so let's say that China does do any or all of those things you mentioned. They now find themselves at war with a nation that actually can project power. Instead of the things here and there that they are able to compromise and cause real physical damage, we can simply bomb all of said things over there.

And when was the last time you heard about a virus putting craters in an airstrip or destroying a bridge?

Get real. Deterrence is the new name of the game and it has been since nuclear proliferation. Even the USA's conventional arsenal isn't intended for major conflict between world powers, it's intended as an apparatus to establish and protect interests abroad. Why? Because major conflict between world powers is a deprecated scenario, because nuclear weapons made it so.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
Ok, so let's say that China does do any or all of those things you mentioned. They now find themselves at war with a nation that actually can project power
Cyberattack and attacks on allies are both projected power as Ive shown.
that they are able to compromise and cause real physical damage, we can simply bomb all of said things over there.
-Which of course we could also do if they started parachuting over des moines. But there are many scenarios where significant damage could be done without warranting a military response.

This is what you said:
No nation poses any type of military threat to the USA homeland except by way of nuclear weapons
-and its pretty obvious that Ive demonstrated that this is bullshit.
Requiem
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
Maybe if they're madmen and have no interest in coming out on top. You're missing the entire point I'm making.

And emphasis on "Maybe".

And there's a major problem with your gripe, in that it's not possible for you to be satisfied that it's been resolved. Classic tin-foil.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
Maybe if they're madmen and have no interest in coming out on top. You're missing the entire point I'm making.
Nope. My entire point was that you are full of shit. You should be more careful with exposing this personality defect of yours in a public forum.
Requiem
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
I'm full of shit, right. Well I guess we'll see, won't we? Do you have a predicted date for this stuff?

China will not do any of those things to the USA because it's not in their interest to, ultimately because we have nuclear weapons, but also because we could cause disproportionate conventional damage by projecting actual power if we chose to go that route instead.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
China will not do any of those things to the USA because it's not in their interest to
AGAIN, you are painfully ill-informed.

"Ballistic-missile defenses, joint-strike fighters, Black Hawks, and more — Chinese hackers have their hands on plans for these and more of the Pentagon's most sophisticated weapons systems, just the latest sign that the culture of hacking in China continues to put America on the defensive ahead of a tense meeting between President Obama and Xi Jinping, a summit bound to be tense with cyberwarfare diplomacy... Chinese cyberthieves have "compromised" mockups that form the "backbone" of some of the U.S. military's most important and high-tech defense technology, and that it could signal a copycat advancement of China's arms, while aiming to "weaken the U.S. military advantage"

-We're already at war.
Requiem
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
Oh ok, so you do think that they will hack all of our silos and SSBNs. Ok buddy. Here's what's going to happen. You and I are both going to die someday, and China still will not have attacked the USA.

And you know I'm right about that, you just won't admit it. That's ok, I'm done.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 31, 2014
They've already attacked the USA. Buddy. And they will do so again.
Skepticus_Rex
not rated yet Feb 01, 2014
So I should return the Jade Rabbit to Great WalMart of China, whence I just bought it for my girlfriend?


I don't know that I would laugh too hard about this sad event. It is quite likely that at least a couple of the radiation-resistant ICs in the Control Unit are American made.
baudrunner
not rated yet Feb 01, 2014
Actually, China does things pretty well. It almost doesn't matter anymore that the camera that you bought yesterday that you thought was a Leica is actually a Chinese counterfeit or that the Gibson L5 guitar you thought was just a good deal is also a Chinese counterfeit, all legalities aside. It also seems that the great technological advances that we learn about today was already old news many years ago and thought too important to share with John Q Pu. So I figure that someone already has the invisibility cloak worked out, and that it's being used on the moon to surreptitiously wedge a spanner in the works of that poor Chinese rover up there. Maybe they were getting too close to AS15-P-9625.
Skepticus_Rex
not rated yet Feb 01, 2014
There isn't anything there for Yutu to look at in the region photographed in Apollo-15's AS15-P-9625, so I cannot imagine anyone trying to stop the rover from seeing nothing.

http://wms.lroc.a...5-P-9625

Here is a shot of the same location from Apollo-17:

http://wms.lroc.a...7-M-2806

Higher resolution scans in the sizes of more than 1 GByte also can be looked at from the site I linked.