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China: "control circuit" failure on Yutu keeps rover from moving
Posted: Tue, Mar 4, 2014, 6:13 AM ET (1113 GMT)
Yutu on surface (Xinhua) Chinese officials said the malfunction of a "control circuit" on its first lunar rover, Yutu, is keeping the rover from moving. The failed circuit in the rover's "driving unit" has kept the spacecraft from moving, and also prevents it from lowering its mast and folding in its solar panels to conserve heat during the two-week lunar night. That failure took place prior to going into hibernation in late January, and the rover was late in resuming operations in early February, leading to premature reports that the rover had failed entirely. The rover is again in hibernation and project officials say they are hopeful it will awaken again later this month. The rover's scientific instruments have been working normally despite the driving unit malfunction, but the rover's inability to move limits the usefulness of some of those instruments.
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