back to article China's moon rover dies of extreme old age, after two-and-a-half years

China never fails in its high-profile scientific endeavours, so news that its Yutu lunar rover has stopped functioning is being spun as a triumph for its space program. Yutu – aka Jade Rabbit – landed on Luna in December 2013 but by January 2014 was reported DOA. By February 2014 the vehicle was revived, but had become …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Pint

    done in by unexpected extremes in the Lunar climate

    They didn't get the NASA and Russian data then on the temperatures, etc.? Or didn't believe it?

    Still, they get a well done for landing it and get some science back for 2-1/2 years.. more or less. I hope the government feels the scientists are entitled to a beer...

    1. Paul Woodhouse

      in China?... beer ain't strong enough, I'd be expecting the least drunk of the engineers to have been utterly incoherent half an hour after the party started, with the possible exception of the oldest most experienced dude who'd have cunningly made everyone else down their glass while he sipped his....

      乾杯...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        干杯 - is the simplified version. The traditional would have been ok for Taiwan.

        1. Paul Woodhouse

          I use zhuyin input here, not even sure I can make that write simplified that easily...

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Or didn't believe it?"

      The extremes are even worse than can be simulated in an earthbound thermal vacuum chamber - and unlike spacebased stuff (which can rotate to spread the heat evenly), this kind of abuse tends to make things break in relatively short order just on uneven thermal expansion/contraction.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh!

    No change there then. Buy something made in China, watch it die just outside the guarantee period and if you can actually find a service agent, they've either gone out of business or they don't make those parts any more.

    1. james 68

      Re: Meh!

      That's not just China, it's the same with every manufacturer from any country these days.

      Planned obsolescence, you don't need our old shiney - buy our new shiney for just 3x the price!!

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Meh!

        Damn these new-fangled businesses, stealing ideas from the early 20th century and executing them in much the same way!

        Still, at least manufacturers aren't colluding to reduce the lifespan of products eh?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Meh!

          Except for the real kindles and amazon must secretly curse itself for that decision.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Meh!

        "Planned obsolescence, you don't need our old shiney - buy our new shiney for just 3x the price!!"

        Old Polish joke. "What's grey and sits on the windowsill humming for 91 days then goes quiet? An American air conditioner with a 90 day warranty."

  3. ian 22

    Mixed emotions

    Well done PRC! Two years!

    On the other hand, damned Chinese batteries. In other news, I noted the large number of Chinese autos on a recent visit to Cuba. On asking a local about them, I was told they had a reputation for being "fragile".

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Mixed emotions

      Maybe that's due to unexpected extremes in the Cuban climate?

      Anyway: not bad at all for the first try; looking forward to the next missions.

  4. MatsSvensson

    Respect & Regard

    Things started fine, but now its all falling apart like a Chinese lunar rover.

    It doesn't get any respect.

    No respect, an no regard, i tell you.

    No respect from anyone.

  5. Charles King

    The sour grapes in this article is typical Register jocularity, but it might be worth reflecting on how long Britain's stationary Beagle robot lasted on Mars...

    It's good going for their first landing, and most importantly this isn't a one-off and the Chinese have a solid program of continuing exploration, the next step being a sample-return mission to blast-off next year with a crewed mission scheduled for the middle of the 2020's.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You order Chinese take away

    And the darn driver delivers it to the wrong house.

  7. ShadowDragon8685

    Welllllll...

    Considering it was their first go and all, and they apparently did it without consulting NASA or Russia, I'd say they had a good run, all told.

    I mean, before we go crowing TOO loudly about Chinese idiocy in making a rover unprepared for the Lunar extremes, resulting in the vehicle being rendered merely immobile but still operable, we should all take a moment to remember that NASA are the idiots responsible for making a spacecraft unprepared for its component manufacturers and its programmers using differing mathematical units and thus turning from a lander into an impact probe.

    1. cray74

      Considering it was their first go and all, and they apparently did it without consulting NASA or Russia, I'd say they had a good run, all told.

      Yep. The US and Russia had to practically machine gun the moon and Mars with probes before some started working. The Ranger program's first six (of nine) probes failed, and the Surveyor program had two of seven probes fail. It wasn't until the late 1960s that the US was getting regular successes (Lunar Orbiter program). Meanwhile, here's a table about the Soviet Luna Program. If I counted correctly, that's 43 missions and 29 failures.

    2. Smody

      "using differing mathematical units and thus turning from a lander into an impact probe." D'OH! And yet we STILL won't go fully metric. (Yes, I'm one of those USAn dolts).

      1. Andus McCoatover
        Windows

        Yes, I'm one of those USAn dolts

        You could be Libyan, and still use Fahrenheit.

  8. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Go

    Considering the slams on China here...

    It's doing better than the British Moon rover, innit?

  9. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Give 'em a break...

    Thing was supposed to last 3 months*. Pretty good, huh?

    *Lasted longer than the 'rabbit' buzzy thing my missus got from China.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was it running Android?

    Maybe a google update borked the OS? 2.5 years is pretty good for a phone these days. Of course, maybe someone hacked it... Didn't DEFCON demo hacking spacecraft this week?

  11. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    China never fails in its high-profile scientific endeavours, so news that its Yutu lunar rover has stopped functioning is being spun as a triumph for its space program.

    Well yeah, China, but then what was Europe's excuse for the "Good News!" headlines over last year's comet interception fiasco then?

    Can't have it both ways: either space is hard to do and any level of success is to be lauded or we are playing to Dr Evil rules where failure isn't tolerated and only complete success is to be allowed to be trumpeted far and wide as "an achievement".

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