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Lunar rover 'awakes' despite abnormality: spokesman

2014-02-13 10:55 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e
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Screen shows the photos of the Chang'e-3 moon lander (L) and the Yutu moon rover during the mutual-photograph process, at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, Dec 15, 2013.(Xinhua/Ding Lin)

Screen shows the photos of the Chang'e-3 moon lander (L) and the Yutu moon rover during the mutual-photograph process, at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, Dec 15, 2013.(Xinhua/Ding Lin)

China's moon rover Yutu has waken up from a troubled dormancy although experts are still trying to figure 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 spokesperson.

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 causes of its mechanical control abnormality.

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

"Yutu went into sleep under an abnormal status," Pei said , adding that experts were initially 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.

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