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China's Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover Officially Declared Lost

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the daisy,-daisy,-give-me-your-answer,-do dept.

Moon 131

An anonymous reader writes "'Jade Rabbit,' the first lunar rover successfully deployed by China, has now been officially declared 'lost.' The rover encountered problems on January 25th, just over a month into its planned three-month mission. 'The rover's mechanical problems are likely related to critical components that must be protected during the cold lunar night. When temperatures plunge, the rover's mast is designed to fold down to protect delicate instruments, which can then be kept warm by a radioactive heat source. Yutu also needs to angle a solar panel towards the point where the sun will rise to maintain power levels. A mechanical fault in these systems could leave the rover fatally exposed to the dark and bitter cold.'"

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Dude (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233411)

It's over there by the equally missing U.S. Constitution.

All hail Barack
He sure does suck...stock
Markets dry as as a...block
Of CO2 afloat to the strains of loud...rock

Are you bitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46235501)

WTF!!!!

I know lots of people are being bitter for getting bit in the ass by Obamacare...

I ain't no fan of the healthcare program. But we're talking about a science topic here... how the hell did you immediately redirect the topic to Barrack sucks???

Ahh, heat issues... (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#46233447)

Someone mentioned here how spiffy it would be to send a 1kg-class lander to the Moon, while I disagreed. Now here's another reason why that's a bad idea, one that didn't occur to me at the time: the volume vs. surface ratio, and thermal management in those extreme conditions.

Re:Ahh, heat issues... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234257)

Well, they shouldn't have built it at Foxconn...

On the bright side, it's still more successful than Slashdot Beta

Re:Ahh, heat issues... (1)

LoztInSpace (593234) | about 9 months ago | (#46235555)

It was not a manufacturing problem. It ran off a cliff because the development teams used two types of abacus and fucked up the calculations.

Re:Ahh, heat issues... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#46234577)

A Lunar "day" lasts for two weeks. To win the Google Lunar X Prize, the rover has to travel 500m. To do that in 14 days, you only need to average 0.0004m/sec. After that, you have your $20M, so who cares if your rover dies when the sun sets?

*rubs hands together* (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46233455)

This is going to be great!

I'll be able to open the first junkyard on the Moon at this rate =)

USA, USA, USA is #1!!! (2)

BBF_BBF (812493) | about 9 months ago | (#46233673)

This is going to be great!

I'll be able to open the first junkyard on the Moon at this rate =)

The Jade Rabbit is nothing compared to the "junk" left all over the moon by the Apollo Missions. Even the Soviets left more crap on the moon than China.

In this respect it's still USA #1 with China nor any other country not even close to ever catching up.

Re:USA, USA, USA is #1!!! (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 9 months ago | (#46233855)

The Jade Rabbit is nothing compared to the "junk" left all over the moon by the Apollo Missions

Yeah, but it's wicked awesome cool junk -

- Moon cars
- Hasselblad cameras
- Descent stages
- Plaques
- Laser reflectors
- Space boots

Granted, the golf balls and urine bags are a bit messy.

Re:USA, USA, USA is #1!!! (1)

Niac (2101) | about 9 months ago | (#46234003)

Not really... They're quite frozen.

Re:USA, USA, USA is #1!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234043)

Don't forget all the ALSEP stations (with plutonium powered RTGs that should still be working), several PLSS backpacks, Al Bean's rookie astronaut pin, Gene Cernan's daughter's initials, the S-IVB stages of several Saturn V boosters, and a few LM ascent stages.

Re:USA, USA, USA is #1!!! (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 9 months ago | (#46234871)

and a few LM ascent stages

Wonder how beat up those are...

Re:USA, USA, USA is #1!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46235391)

Pollute the Moon, not Earth!!!

Re:*rubs hands together* (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 9 months ago | (#46234081)

Nah. The money's in bringing it back [wikipedia.org] .

ORLY? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233457)

Nice and strong signal from Yutu: http://www.moonviews.com/2014/02/yutu-rover-has-phoned-home-from-the-moon.html

Re:ORLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234409)

Oh my, they have a screenshot and everything! I'm sure these guys know this stuff better than those silly chinese.

Re:ORLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234561)

Phoning home? Great, but that doesn't mean it's not 'lost'.

If mission-critical gear has been damaged, like all those 'delicate sensors' the articles mention, then it might not be able to do what it was sent up there to do. Plus, if they can't fix what went wrong during the first power-down/sleep cycle, then it's probably a moot point; it'll be going round two with the cold lunar night soon enough.

So while it might not quite be 'dead', it can quite possibly be considered 'lost'

They should have stolen some more recent plans. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233461)

I'm sure the U.S. worked that bit out a few decades ago.

Re:They should have stolen some more recent plans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234195)

Not the OP; why flamebait? Innovation isn't exactly China's strength, it's well-documented that much of their more advanced tech, from nukes to jet fighters, to all kinds of consumer and industrial electronics, to all kinds of manufacturing techniques, to you name it.... have been "sourced" from other countries that actually took the risks to develop it. Posting myself as AC because I'm modding, and I modded the parent up, because the point is assuredly worth discussing, as much as others might shy away from its controversial nature.

Re:They should have stolen some more recent plans. (0)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 9 months ago | (#46235109)

Being the inventor of tech means nothing if your society is by default afraid of everything that science bestows upon us. This is why the US, inventor of nearly all the tech we use today, is giving way to China, the country which has the will to build everything we will be using tomorrow. Meanwhile, we can't even build a standard-issue high speed train between LA and San Francisco.

Re:They should have stolen some more recent plans. (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#46235425)

Stop whining and get your concepts straight. The US still leads pretty much everybody in advanced technology. China is playing catchup. They're playing a good game - not terribly surprising as their economy is pretty much the same size as ours and they have a more than a few smart, hardworking people. Yes, they steal our intellectual property. We steal theirs (and everybody else's). Get used to it.

However, they are world leaders in literally bulldozing the opposition. The major reason we can't build a high speed train between anywhere where you would want to build a high speed train is that there are things in the way. Buildings, roads and other annoyances. In China a few bribes and some physical / emotional threats to the less enthusiastic folks and you're there. In the US, where we still follow the rule of law most of the time, not so much.

The world is a complicated place. Certainly the shine on America is wearing off - it always was a thin layer of chrome. Happens to every society and civilization. China may be ascendant but it is not clear just how high they will go. China has a long, very long history of ups and downs.

Stay tuned.

Re:They should have stolen some more recent plans. (3, Insightful)

Guy Smiley (9219) | about 9 months ago | (#46236089)

The US leads everybody in their belief in astrology [slashdot.org] , and their disbelief in evolution as scientific fact [slashdot.org] .

The government is dominated by individuals that care more about enhancing their personal fortunes or agendas than about the long-term success of the country.

I don't think this bodes well for the future.

Philosophical question: (4, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46233467)

Can the deployment be successful if the object deployed failed the majority of its mission objectives?

Re:Philosophical question: (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | about 9 months ago | (#46233631)

Yes. from http://dictionary.reference.co... [reference.com] :

deploy
verb
(used without object)
4. to come into a position ready for use: the plane can't land unless the landing gear deploys.

Re:Philosophical question: (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 9 months ago | (#46233907)

Just because it landed and deployed its landing gear doesn't mean it accomplished all its design goals. Geez, imagine an Eagle that landed and expected to spend 3 months on the moon and yet ran out of battery after the first week. "Mission accomplished!"

Re:Philosophical question: (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | about 9 months ago | (#46234811)

Sorry, I should have expounded a little more. I read the article and the discussion here intending to ask the same question that ericlowe did. I answered much too concisely after I looked up the definition, so I skipped some of the thought process.
I didn't mean to imply that it was successful, only that the machine deployed from its lander [xinhuanet.com] . I suppose that I would have been more complete had I said that it had deployed properly up to "x" point, then failed at "y." (In the example that dictionary.com provided, even if the landing gear of a plane deploys properly, it doesn't necessarily follow that it will "accomplish its mission" and land safely.)

Re:Philosophical question: (1)

radtea (464814) | about 9 months ago | (#46234213)

Philosophical answer: who cares?

You've really posed a political question, which is what "philosophical questions" become when anyone cares about them.

"What abstract category shall we put this concrete reality in" only matters to people who think abstractions exist independently of knowing subjects, which is say, idiots.

Nothing "is" a "failure" or a "success". Things actively assigned to the categories failure and success by knowing subjects. The act of assignment is useful. It reduces the extreme cognitive burden we face when thinking about more than five or ten things. But when we turn around and treat those categories as more than cognitive conveniences, and therefore treat it as a matter of import which one we assign a concrete reality to, we are almost always engaged in some kind of political act.

There are cases--mostly in scientific research--where such questions matter. In almost all other cases they are about power, not cognition.

Re:Philosophical question: (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | about 9 months ago | (#46234543)

Relatively speaking, yes. If it had failed to land softly and had instead cratered, that'd just be an epic fail. If it had blown up on the launch pad, that would be a complete embarrassment. If it had failed to phone home at all, that would be a different type of fail. As it is, they got it there in one piece and deployed it and proved that it worked. It just didn't KEEP working, which is hopefully a solvable problem. This means it makes sense to send up bigger, more expensive missions, which might not have seemed justified had the failure been at some previous stage. It succeeded in proving they've got the basics in place. There was only so much actual science to be done with a tiny rover, so the fact that it was unable to complete the mission is less important in this particular case.

Re:Philosophical question: (2)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 9 months ago | (#46235305)

When queried on the loss of the rover the Chinese government replied "We are at a loss to explain this failure, after all it worked in Kerbal Space Program..."

Re:Philosophical question: (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 9 months ago | (#46235455)

Doing this stuff is very hard. There are things that happen even in low earth orbit that we don't think about, that we can't relate to, because all our experience and all our common sense is tied up in this atmosphere laden gravity well.

I have done stuff like this, and even if the top level mission objectives are not met, i.e. three month mission to explore and get data, I am sure that this mission could be listed as more than 50% successful. Things like soft landing on the moon, deploying and activating the robot, whatever the robot has done for a month, etc.

I am sure that everyone will learn a lot from this mission. NASA has had a lot of mission that it took on with partners that probably were not even as successful as this, but there was a lot to learn from the experience.

Again, going to space is very hard. Doing things in space is very hard, and there are a bunch of stuff that can trip you up. Not everything is going to work perfectly. NASA and the US has a great reputation because we have things like Curiosity and Voyager. But we must also remember that Hubble space telescope was almost lost, and Kepler barely completed it's primary mission and was nowhere near completing it's extended mission.

Not saying any of this reflects poorly on anyone. Just saying space is hard.

Fuck Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46236339)

I like your thoughts. Many people do not realize how much effort and time it takes to account for the unknown.

-bastcastula

Not Dead Yet! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233469)

https://twitter.com/uhf_satcom/status/433702655290908672

China is ascending (5, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#46233471)

China is ascending the learning curve. Space provides a lot of tough problems. I wonder how many more visits NASA will be getting in the future, both official, and "unofficial"?

NASA's Strict Rules for Talking to and Working with China [vice.com]

Re:China is ascending (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#46235759)

The US lunar Ranger project in the mid 60's took 7 tries before it finally was able to work. A lot of knowledge about redundancy, testing, clean-rooms, and QA was gained in the process.

I'd love to be in there for the cheers when 7 finally clicked. Imagine failing 6 times, waiting for the news, and finally getting confirmation?

The bazaar thing is that the 1962 Mariner II, the first interplanetary probe (to Venus) mostly worked, and it was based off of early Ranger designs. Maybe more sun helped?

Figures (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#46233477)

It was made with cheap American parts!

Re:Figures (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 9 months ago | (#46234621)

You must find the Jade Rabbit before the next full moon.

Re:Figures (1)

achbed (97139) | about 9 months ago | (#46235531)

American components, Chinese components... All made in TAIWAN!

What a shame (2)

msobkow (48369) | about 9 months ago | (#46233485)

Their mission had been going so well until the failure. It had been looking like it would be a good promotional piece for the Chinese, now it's just another failed space mission.

Well, not a complete failure. They did get there, and the rover was working for quite some time.

Ah well, could have been worse. Could have just failed utterly like that Mars launch a few years back. I forget who did that one.

Re:What a shame (3, Informative)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46233557)

The Mars Climate Orbiter... [wikipedia.org]

Lockheed Martin screwed that one up. The specs called for all measurements to be SI, but a specific piece of software written by Lockheed Martin returned the value in imperial units - the error spread and ruined all calculations that depended on it.

Since this happened while calculating how to achieve the desired orbit, the result was a resounding disaster.

Re:What a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233745)

The rest of the world should only be so lucky as to use imperial units, darn you and your "metric system, base 10 is so BLAHHHHHH."

Re:What a shame (4, Funny)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 9 months ago | (#46233899)

imperial units explain why the death star blew up twice.

Yet the emperor blames contractor shoddiness on those pesky rebels.

Re:What a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234931)

The Mars Climate Orbiter... [wikipedia.org]

Lockheed Martin screwed that one up. The specs called for all measurements to be SI, but a specific piece of software written by Lockheed Martin returned the value in imperial units - the error spread and ruined all calculations that depended on it.

Since this happened while calculating how to achieve the desired orbit, the result was a resounding disaster.

The fact that this was not caught by QA in the preliminary testing phases is a far greater indictment of the project than the use of Imperial units.

Re:What a shame (1)

wooferhound (546132) | about 9 months ago | (#46234207)

Their mission had been going so well until the failure. It had been looking like it would be a good promotional piece for the Chinese, now it's just another failed space mission.

The mission consisted of 2 parts, a lander, and a rover. The Lander has been functioning very well since touchdown, and the rover did finally phone home making the rumors of it's death exaggerated.

Re:What a shame (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 9 months ago | (#46236421)

Their mission had been going so well until the failure

I think that could describe a lot of missions.

Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233515)

If you've ever seen those roboduel shows you know that motors will stop responding if they're disturbed by violent activity like a butterfly or a gentle breeze. Wheels first, then actuators.

Poor robot. It's cold out there.

-AC.Falos

Apologize now! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233531)

I think Slashdot and all you foreigners should apologize for blatant Anti-Chinese bias! You try to make a bad image for China....not your country, not your business, but you must meddle in our affairs. I think you act out of jealousy because of China's advanced technology.

Re:Apologize now! (1)

o_ferguson (836655) | about 9 months ago | (#46233861)

1,000 “outbroken” - 1,000 apologies for my retarded kinsmen. "Please to be restful. It is only a few crazies who have from the crazy place outbroken." --William S. Burroughs.

Re:Apologize now! (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 9 months ago | (#46235023)

I think Slashdot and all you foreigners should apologize for blatant Anti-Chinese bias! You try to make a bad image for China....not your country, not your business, but you must meddle in our affairs. I think you act out of jealousy because of China's advanced technology.

We rely on you to manufacture just about everything we use. It scares us, and it makes us insecure about ourselves. The lesser among us need to either deny the truth of our dependence upon you, or make you seem like primitive beasts of burden, or both.

Re:Apologize now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46235407)

We rely on you to manufacture just about everything we use

Like a lot of things that "everyone knows" to be true, this isn't.

The lesser among us need to either deny the truth of our dependence upon you

There has never been a person who has said anything to the effect of "the lesser among us need to deny the truth of what I'm saying" without inadvertently admitting that they're more insecure about the validity of that "truth" than the imaginary people they're referring to.

Re:Apologize now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46235717)

Alright, alright. India, Bangladesh and Taiwan also manufacture some stuff.

How do I disable beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233545)

Classic was much better.

Re:How do I disable beta (0)

DoubleJ1024 (1287512) | about 9 months ago | (#46233755)

BETA is the new CLASSIC, get used to taking it up the...

Re:How do I disable beta (1)

lennier1 (264730) | about 9 months ago | (#46234491)

There should be a link in the page footer.

Importance of keeping JPL intact (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233597)

Just shows the difficulty of developing a space probe from scratch. By keeping a steady stream of probes going to Mars, the probe teams at JPL stay in practice, and good probe designs come about. Starting out with a small Mars probe in the late 90s, and steadily growing bigger was a good path.

Re:Importance of keeping JPL intact (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233611)

Hey asshole, did you forget about the Viking from the '70s? How fucking hard is it to google that shit before posting complete nonsense?

Mods, ? (1)

BancBoy (578080) | about 9 months ago | (#46233731)

+1 Angry, With Valid Point

Re:Importance of keeping JPL intact (0)

DoubleJ1024 (1287512) | about 9 months ago | (#46233775)

It must be as hard as making a decent forum/website for nerds, involving news for nerds and stuff that matters. But I guess with the departure of Taco and the rise of Timmy we have the FAIL known as BETA. FUCK BETA

Re:Importance of keeping JPL intact (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46234057)

Viking is irrelevant to the point GP was making, which is that the US maintained its program capabilities with a series of modest, affordable missions rather than waiting another decade to launch a more expensive, complex mission.

Viking was conceived and developed at the tail end of the Apollo era, and cost $934 million in 1974 dollars -- roughly 4.6 billion in present day terms. That wasn't much by the standards of the day, but Pathfinder was developed in a totally different era, an era with much more advanced technology, but much more constrained budgets. Pathfinder cost less than 1/10 of what Viking's cost ($406 million in present day dollars) and met all of its mission objectives. It was a brilliant success, not only on its own terms, but in establishing that tent-pole projects aren't the only way to do planetary exploration.

Re:Importance of keeping JPL intact (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 9 months ago | (#46234801)

What's a tent pole project? I thought they built space ships, not camping gear.

Re:Importance of keeping JPL intact (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 9 months ago | (#46234279)

Viking was a technological triumph and should not be forgotten. Along with Apollo and Voyager it is a marvel from of the glory days of NASA.

I wish we could have kept the funding going.

What matters is what they do next (2)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 9 months ago | (#46233621)

The US space program had all sorts of problems early on - a bunch of Ranger probes failed. The key was that they kept trying until it worked.

Will China keep trying until they get it right, or will they decide that space is too hard?

Re:What matters is what they do next (1)

lennier1 (264730) | about 9 months ago | (#46234511)

Considering how many probes were lost to various factors over the decades, coming this far on their first try actually wasn't half bad.

Re:What matters is what they do next (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 9 months ago | (#46236225)

Third try, the first was a hard landing in 2009 after a successful 16 month lunar oribting mission, second a repeat of the first except instead of doing a hard lunar landing, it went to L2 and then visited the asteroid 4179 Toutatis and is still going to give the Chinese experience in deep space tracking and control.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

Re:What matters is what they do next (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 9 months ago | (#46234891)

The US space program had all sorts of problems early on - a bunch of Ranger probes failed. The key was that they kept trying until it worked.

Russia was orbiting the Moon, while the U.S. was still trying to hit it with Rangers :}

Re:What matters is what they do next (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 9 months ago | (#46236195)

They're planning another more advanced rover then a lunar soil sample return mission in 2018. Considering this mission was mostly successful I doubt that they'll change their plans much, perhaps a bit of delay while trying to figure what failed on this mission.

Maybe commited suicide due to harsh conditions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233677)

wouldn't be the first time...

Re:Maybe commited suicide due to harsh conditions (1)

DoubleJ1024 (1287512) | about 9 months ago | (#46233781)

That's Japan you insensitive CLOD.

radioactive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233709)

Aliens don't like when they base is polluted with radioactive stuff, Chinese did not got the memo?

Re:radioactive (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 9 months ago | (#46233947)

It was faked, why should the Chinese care about a little 'space-junk' littering the Gobi Desert?

Of course, I don't think the Mongolians would appreciate you calling them 'aliens', you insensitive clod! :-)

Re:radioactive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234131)

Teacher may not be happy and if that happens, the whole pet project may be in jeopardy.

Figures... (0)

NormHome (99305) | about 9 months ago | (#46233807)

Just another quality product "Made In China"

Re:Figures... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234923)

American superiority complex, you have it.

Re:Figures... (1)

NormHome (99305) | about 9 months ago | (#46235241)

Anonymous coward complex, you have it.

Re:Figures... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46235669)

Why do you assume the poster is American? China ships low-quality goods world-wide, that complaint could have been made from almost any country.

Dead and kicking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46233823)

Quality In, Quality Out (2)

tech.kyle (2800087) | about 9 months ago | (#46233867)

That's going to be an interesting PayPal claim.

Re:Quality In, Quality Out (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46234741)

"look, I sent it there. its not my problem that no one was there to sign for it."

Compared to Opportunity (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 9 months ago | (#46233897)

Well, it made it about 1% of the lifetime of the Opportunity Rover. Must have used Chinese parts. Keep trying fellas.

Best I've Ever Owned (0)

sexconker (1179573) | about 9 months ago | (#46233953)

The Jade Rabbit is the best vibrator I've ever owned. Do yourself a favor and get one (or two!).
They go great on the clit, in the pussy, in the ass, tickling the dick or nipples, and (my personal favorite) pressed up tight against your taint, just under the scrotum.

Re:Best I've Ever Owned (1)

achbed (97139) | about 9 months ago | (#46235553)

The Jade Rabbit is the best vibrator I've ever owned. Do yourself a favor and get one (or two!). They go great on the clit, in the pussy, in the ass, tickling the dick or nipples, and (my personal favorite) pressed up tight against your taint, just under the scrotum.

But they really don't work well when it's 100K. Of course, if you were to touch your taint with an object at that temperature, I think you might get a variant of the tongue-on-flagpole effect, much to your displeasure.

Getting there is only part of the battle... (4, Insightful)

trims (10010) | about 9 months ago | (#46234117)

As I pointed out on the story on Israel doing a moon mission last week, the technology and knowledge required to put an (unmanned) 100kg object on the moon (or Mars, or other celestial rock) is very well understood these days, so much so that well-financed private corporations (see the various X-prise competitors) can do it, given $100m or less. All the engineering issues are both well-known, and well-documented as to solutions. This is all out in the open press, so anyone with the capital merely has to hire enough competent engineers, and have enough money to build the resulting design. Rocket science is no longer rocket science.

What remains extraordinarily difficult is for someone to build a long-functioning probe. The knowledge of the practical problems (and their workaround/solutions) has NOT been disseminated, and thus, pretty much everyone has to learn from scratch. Extraterrestrial probe building is still very much a Deep Magic field, with only a select few organizations (mostly NASA, but ESA too) having the experience to do it well. And they're not sharing.

I fully expect the Chinese to get a working lander robot sometime soon. Just like I fully expect that their next one will not work to its design specs, either. In many ways, it's like building a new car from scratch - the first couple of prototypes crash badly, and you have to learn all the tricks by yourself, because nobody else shares their hard-won info with you. Tesla does well because they were able to hire experienced people from Ford, etc. who brought that knowledge with them. The Chinese Space Agency (CNSA) wasn't able to do that, for obvious reasons, so they're going to have to do the whole learning curve themselves. Good news is that they'll do it MUCH faster than anyone else did, if for no other reason that the tech and general science knowledge is more available and understood.

-Erik

It's not lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234253)

... it just started its real mission.

The saying is true. (5, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 9 months ago | (#46234503)

It is better to have roved and lost than to have never roved at all.

Re:The saying is true. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234969)

It is better to have roved and lost than to have never roved at all.

Ah, the moral problem you present: rate you up +1 for being clever or -1 for being racist....

Re:The saying is true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46235223)

Alright, I laughed :)

The difference between innovation & imitation (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 9 months ago | (#46234509)

With the US, they would have considered more possibilities of how to handle disasters.

With China, it's mostly about the events that generate PR (and thus face-saving) value. The lunar rover's construction is considered an afterthought except for getting it to the desired event.

Are you kidding? (5, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 9 months ago | (#46234737)

I don't know what koolaid you guys have been drinking, but Chinese news says the rabbit has waked up [sina.com.cn] .

And confirmed by UHF-Satcom (2)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 9 months ago | (#46234941)

pic [uhf-satcom.com]

Moon dust is being blamed (2)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 9 months ago | (#46234911)

I guess it's some really tenacious stuff, and very abrasive.

On board the LEM the astronauts took out rocks to look at them, the dust was so fine it got under their finger nails and took several weeks to grow out.
- Harrison H. Schmitt (Apollo 17)

I found it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46234947)

...next to the Maltese falcon.

Dear China (4, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about 9 months ago | (#46235203)

I'm as patriotic as the next guy - "go team USA" and all that - but I'm sad to hear that your rover is lost.

Space is not a zero-sum game. My country has decided that we're more interested in spending the dollars (that we constantly borrow from you) on social welfare programs, caring for old people, and floating eleven carrier groups in a world that doesn't have a single other navy that could fight ONE of them.

I'm looking forward to your next space accomplishment, as I truly believe such things help ALL people, ultimately.

But I also read... (1)

theendlessnow (516149) | about 9 months ago | (#46235361)

I read that around the same time, Al-Qaeda had discovered a new vehicle to move their weapons of mass destruction. Code red, Kano!

Oh well (1)

kilodelta (843627) | about 9 months ago | (#46235469)

They can get the rover to the Moon but they can't get it to work. Meanwhile the United States has successfully put four rovers down on Mars without much issue. Sojourner, Opportunity, Spirit, and Curiosity. All of them deployed successfully and in the cases of Opportunity and Spirit both performed WELL beyond expectations.

And Curiosity is doing a bang up job too. I guess it sucks that the Chinese spies couldn't infiltrate the groups that developed those rovers.

Meanwhile on Mars.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46235701)

The rover Opportunity is still truckin' along 10 full years later after landing 8-] (smug-faced smiley)

walmart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46235879)

as a walmart shopper i am used to things made in China not working after a month and disappearing.

ohhh, the bitter cold (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46235947)

Spooky. I feel the fear.

What has been accomplished so far? (1)

m.alessandrini (1587467) | about 9 months ago | (#46236163)

Did everyone see some photos or videos of what the rover did in the first month, apart from the one photo of the rover when it first landed? From the beginning it seems impossible to find any bit of information about this mission. Was this a kind of secret mission, or what? I mean, not every day someone is walking around on the moon.
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