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China's lunar rover comes back to life

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-02-13 10:19

BEIJING  -- China's moon rover Yutu is awake after its troubled dormancy but experts are still trying to find out the cause of its abnormality, a spokesman with the country's lunar probe program said on Thursday.

"Yutu has come back to life," said Pei Zhaoyu, the spokesman.

Pei said the moon rover, named after the pet of a lunar goddess in ancient Chinese mythology, has now been restored to its normal signal reception function. But experts are still working to verify the cause of its mechanical control abnormality.

The problem emerged before Yutu entered its second dormancy on the moon on January 25 as the lunar night fell.

"Yutu went to sleep under an abnormal status," Pei said, adding that experts were concerned that it might not be able to survive the extremely low temperatures during the lunar night.

"The rover stands a chance of being saved now that it is still alive," he said.

On Sina Weibo, China's Twitter, user "Yutu Lunar Rover", which has followed the developments of the rover mission in a first-person account, posted its first update since the abnormality.

"Hi, anybody there?" it asked in a post, which immediately attracted tens of thousands of comments.

Many Chinese Internet users said they were moved to hear that their "cute rabbit" had "come back to life", and some said the rover was a "foodie" waking up for rice dumplings, a must-have delicacy for China's Lantern Festival that falls on Friday.

China's lunar rover comes back to life
China's lunar rover comes back to life
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