Chinese Social Media Prays for ‘Little Bunny’ Moon Rover

Troubled Jade Rabbit module becomes social media sensation

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Peter Parks / AFP / Getty Images

The Chinese lunar rover Jade Rabbit landed on the moon in December

China’s Jade Rabbit moon rover became the most popular topic on Chinese social media Monday when Chinese state-run media reported that it was having mechanical troubles, according to CNN. Xinhua news published tweets from Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, in the voice of the rover itself:

“Although I should’ve gone to bed this morning, my masters discovered something abnormal with my mechanical control system. My masters are staying up all night working for a solution. I heard their eyes are looking more like my red rabbit eyes.”

The tweets were reportedly written by a group of Chinese space enthusiasts following the Chang’e 3 mission to the moon. “Jade Rabbit lunar rover” has shot to the top of most-searched items on Sina Weibo.

“Little bunny, we’re praying for you,” one user wrote in response, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“You have done a great job, Yutu [the Chinese phrase for "Jade Rabbit"]. You have endured extreme hot and cold temperatures and shown us what we have never seen,” wrote one microblogger, as quoted by Xinhua, according to CNN.

“In space exploration, there’s great beauty, but there’s also great difficulty,” another user wrote, according to Phys.org. “I hope one day you will be resurrected.”

The Jade Rabbit was deployed to the moon’s surface on Dec. 15. It was about halfway through its three-month mission to study the moon’s surface when it had its potentially crippling breakdown.

“The sun has fallen, and the temperature is dropping so quickly… to tell you all a secret, I don’t feel that sad. I was just in my own adventure story – and like every hero, I encountered a small problem,” said the Rabbit.

“Goodnight, Earth,” it said. “Goodnight, humanity.”

[CNN]