China's Jade Rabbit Rover Has Died on the Moon

Andrew LaSane
Getty Images
Getty Images / Getty Images

After 31 months of operation on the Moon's surface, China's Yutu (or Jade Rabbit) rover has officially been declared out of commission by the country's State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), New Scientist reports.

Jade Rabbit was launched as a part of the Chang’e-3 mission. After landing in the Sea of Rains basin on December 14, 2013, the rover was declared dead once before, in February 2014, but it eventually came back to life and resumed communications. Sadly, there is no coming back from this death. It's final.

During its time in working condition, Jade Rabbit set a record for the longest active stay on the Moon (despite being immobile), discovered a new type of moon rock, and gathered enough data to generate 100 scientific papers.

According to Xinhua, a social media account for the rover sent out a final farewell message to its fans in China that read, "The Moon says it has prepared a long, long dream for me, and I'm wondering what the dream would be like—would I be a Mars explorer, or be sent back to Earth?"

[h/t New Scientist]

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