June 26, 2019, 14:51

‘Move The Muscles, Bones’: China’s Jade Rabbit-2 Rover ‘Wakes Up’ From Nap

‘Move The Muscles, Bones’: China’s Jade Rabbit-2 Rover ‘Wakes Up’ From Nap

China’s Jade Rabbit-2 rover awoke from its extended nap on the moon on Thursday, taking to social media to inform space enthusiasts that it’s headed back to work after its five-day hibernation.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the lunar rover told its followers on China’s Twitter-like social media platform, Weibo, this week, “At the end of the noon break, get up and move the muscles and bones.”

The message, a reference to a past Chinese office tradition, was quickly met with joy as several netizens wished the rover luck on it endeavors on the far side of the moon. Some even requested that Jade Rabbit-2, also known as Yutu-2, send a space selfie, according to the Herald.

The 308-pound rover, part of China’s Chang’e-4 mission, initially went on a standby mode on Saturday to protect itself from the heat on the moon’s surface, which can reach upwards of 390 degrees Fahrenheit, the Chinese space agency’s China Lunar Exploration Program explained in a statement.

The Daily Mail reported that prior to its period of rest, the rover sent out a message on Weibo, saying, “Ya, it’s getting hot here. Right now, the back of the moon has entered the day time, there is no atmosphere to block the heat and the temperature will reach 200°C. In order to protect important parts and avoid extreme condition, I have to take a siesta for a while.”

A siesta, indeed.

Reports suggest that the rover may need to take a second “nap” to protect itself when the lunar night commences. Temperatures could fall to an estimated —292 degrees Fahrenheit.

The lunar rover, which is named after the pet rabbit of Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, began exploring its new landscape some 13 hours after its lander touched down on the lunar surface on January 3.

Equipped with instruments developed by scientists from Sweden, Germany and, of course, China, the Chang’e-4 probe is set to study the lunar environment, cosmic radiation and interaction between solar wind and the moon’s surface, Xinhua reported.

This latest space project from China is the second to land a probe on the moon, with the first taking place in 2013 with the Jade Rabbit rover.

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