That’s all folks

rover w

Jade Rabbit, or ‘Yutu’ in Chinese, sounds like it could be ready for the pot.

Named after a mythical rabbit that lives on the moon, Yutu is China’s first lunar rover. Deployed in mid-December to national celebration, the rabbit is now in peril, with Xinhua reporting technical problems.

Temperatures on the moon fall so low that Yutu has to go into hibernation mode to preserve its electronics. But something has gone wrong, as Xinhua explained in a bizarre “first person” account last week, purporting to be a message sent back from Yutu itself.

“The bad news is, I was supposed to go to sleep this morning, but before I went to sleep, my masters found some mechanical control abnormalities,” the statement read. “Some parts of my body won’t listen to their commands. Now my masters are hard at work thinking of ways to fix me… even so, I know that it’s possible I won’t be able to endure this night.”

The state media has been advising that at least half of the 130 missions to the moon have suffered from failure of some kind, which may be an attempt to prepare the public for further bad news.

But plucky little Yutu has been trying to put a brave face on it. “I’ll tell everyone a little secret: I’m actually not that sad,” it confided. “I’m just in my own adventure story, and like any protagonist, I encountered a bit of a problem. Goodnight, Earth. Goodnight, humans.”

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