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Back From the Dead: Chinese Moon Rover Shows Signs Of Life

Reports of the passing of Jade Rabbit appear to be a bit premature. Reports now say the lunar explorer has bounced back from the brink of death.

Back From the Dead: Chinese Moon Rover Shows Signs Of Life
Chinese Academy of Sciences / BBC
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It looks like reports of the Chinese moon rover Jade Rabbit's passing were a bit premature. The lunar explorer has now reportedly bounced back from the brink of death.

"China's space program is celebrating a victory this morning. The country re-establishing communications with this contraption — the troubled Jade Rabbit moon rover." (Via KMGH)

On Wednesday, multiple news outlets, including us, were reporting the demise of Jade Rabbit. (Via io9, Wired, DVICE)

"So long, Jade Rabbit, we hardly knew ye." (Via Newsy)

Now, China's state-run media is saying the rover is very much alive.

According to Xinhua"Jade Rabbit has fully resurrected and is able to receive signals. … The rover entered hibernation while in an abnormal state. We were worried it wouldn't be able to make it through the extreme cold of the lunar night. But it came back alive."

That follows another state-run newspaper calling the rover a "loss" on Wednesday. (Via China Daily)

Jade Rabbit first landed on the lunar surface back in December, but it suffered what was called a "mechanical control abnormality" in late January. The glitch kept the rover from hibernating properly during its second lunar night, a roughly two-week period of frigid lunar temperatures. (Via RT)

But despite the rover finally making contact, it might not be out of the woods yet.

CBS quotes a spokesman for the Chinese space program saying, "Jade Rabbit has fully resurrected and is able to receive signals, but still suffers a mechanical control abnormality."

Since arriving on the moon, Jade Rabbit has been studying the lunar surface and conducting experiments. Its original mission was set to last three months.