China’s Moon rover develops snag

Beijing: China’s first moon rover ‘Yutu’ has experienced a “mechanical control abnormity” and scientists are organising an overhaul, authorities said on Saturday.

The abnormity occurred due to “the complicated lunar surface environment,” the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said, without giving further details.

The abnormity emerged before the rover went into its second dormancy at dawn today as the lunar night fell again, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, citing SASTIND.

Scientists were “organising an overhaul”, it said, without giving further details.

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.

On January 18 rover ‘Yutu’ collected a large amount space observation and?moon?exploration data.

The lunar probe mission, comprising the lander Chang’e-3 and rover Yutu, was launched in December as part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Programme.

The mission, which made the first soft-landing on the Moon since 1976, makes China the third country to successfully send a lunar rover to the moon, after the US and the former Soviet Union.