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Sunset on Chang'e 3's third lunar day: Yutu not dead yet, but not moving either

Emily Lakdawalla • February 24, 2014 • 4

During the third lunar day of Change'3 surface operations the lander operated normally, performing ultraviolet astronomy and imaging Earth's plasmasphere. The rover's instruments were working, but the rover did not move.

Possible hope for Yutu: "Situation is getting better," but no details [UPDATED]

Emily Lakdawalla • February 12, 2014 • 5

A terse Xinhua news report posted today says there may be some sign of life from Yutu, now that the Sun has risen on the third lunar day since Chang'e 3 landed. It is frustratingly non-specific. UPDATE: Amateur radio operators have detected a radio signal from the rover.

Behind-the-scenes story of Yutu: Promoting space exploration in China

Quanzhi Ye • February 11, 2014

Promoting the story of Yutu to the Chinese public through social media: a successful case of science outreach.

I'm on All Things Considered today, talking about poor Yutu

Emily Lakdawalla • January 28, 2014 • 7

As a lifetime listener of National Public Radio, it's beyond strange to hear my voice on All Things Considered! I wish it were for a happier reason, but I was invited on by Geoff Brumfiel to talk about the fate of poor Yutu.

Bad news for Yutu rover

Emily Lakdawalla • January 25, 2014 • 8

The Sun has set for a second time at Chang'e 3's landing site on the Moon. The lander is operating normally and shut down to sleep as expected, but the rover is not responding properly to Earth command so could not prepare properly for the oncoming lunar night, and likely will not survive it.

New version of panoramic view from Chang'e 3

Emily Lakdawalla • January 21, 2014

A higher-resolution version of the Chang'e 3 lander's panoramic view of the lunar surface has appeared on the Web, and artist Don Davis has cleaned it of artifacts to make a beautiful, seamless view. In other news, the mission has been reorganized to accommodate a possibly year-long adventure on the lunar surface.

Updates on Chang'e 3: Rover and lander both awake, good science data received

Emily Lakdawalla • January 14, 2014 • 8

According to news reports from China, the Yutu rover woke up from its two-week nap at 5:09 Beijing time on January 11 (21:09 on January 10, UTC), successfully establishing communication with Earth. The lander woke up autonomously at 8:21 Beijing time / 00:21 UTC on January 12, and is also "in normal condition." UPDATED to note that the lander's camera apparently did not survive lunar night.

Finally, some high-quality photos from Chang'e 3!

Emily Lakdawalla • January 10, 2014 • 8

A pile of Chang'e 3 photos has been released to the Web, and they are much, much better than what I've seen before. They include, for the first time, photos of Earth from the lander.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Diviner maps geologic context of Chang'e 3 landing site

Emily Lakdawalla • January 08, 2014 • 1

The LRO Diviner Lunar Radiometer has been mapping the entire Moon on a nearly continuous basis since July, 2009. The Diviner team has produced maps of the thermal behavior and and a range of derived quantities at Chang’e 3 landing site that are described in this post.

What's up in planetary missions in 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2013 • 4

With the New Year upon us, what can we look forward to in 2014? For me, the main event of 2014 is that ESA's Rosetta mission finally -- finally! -- catches up to the comet it has been chasing for a decade. We will lose LADEE, gain two Mars orbiters, and launch Hayabusa2. The year begins with an amazing 24 spacecraft exploring or cruising toward various planetary destinations.

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