Sunday, February 16, 2014
This happened a few days ago but I wanted to wait a few days to make sure that Yutu's coming back to life was a sure thing. Last time the sun was about to go down the consensus was that the rover would probably not make it through the night due to a mechanical failure that would likely result in the rover freezing during the 14 days of night and not being able to wake up, and indeed for a day or so after the sun rose we saw obituary after obituary, but then all of a sudden the rover sent a signal to Earth, we learned that the rumours of its demise were greatly exaggerated, and it looks like it is (hopefully) more or less healthy.
That means possible game-changer 1 to potential US hand-wringing has been avoided for the time being, though Yutu's overall health and the amount of eye candy it is able to provide will be the deciding factor here. Without picture after picture of the surface of the moon it's difficult for a member of Congress to make the case that the US is being surpassed by China.