China’s brand new lunar rover, named Jade Rabbit was supposed to easily last three months, if not more, but it’s only been a month and it looks like the Rabbit is dead after encountering catastrophic problems.
The Moon exploration vehicle ran into problems due to the moon’s “complicated lunar surface environment”, Xinhua news agency said, citing science officials. The rover landed in December as part of China’s Chang’e-3 mission - the first “soft” landing on the Moon since 1976. It was expected to operate for around three months.
Tech geeks with their eye on putting a permanent settlement on the Moon have lately been talking a lot about the idea of using 3D printing technology to print parts for a permanent base out of what the Moon has a fuckload of— dust. And this is what such a base might look like.
Asteroid mining will be here before you know it, but instead of sending wild mountain men into the asteroid belt, the best idea seems to be to rope an asteroid in closer. The Chinese want to pull one into Earth’s orbit, but NASA has a safer idea— pulling an asteroid into the moon’s orbit. It’s close, and if something goes wrong, you crash on the moon.
At the end of their mechanical life, the twin GRAIL probes that have been taking all kinds of moon measurements, will crash ceremoniously into the surface of the moon while NASA watches to see what comes up in the plume. Oh, and NASA will be live streaming this moon crash today at 2pm.
Humans have always been clever at finding things to make tools out of, but if you’re up on the Moon and you’re in a jam, you can’t really sit down in your spacesuit and knap a moon rock into the tool you need. So for future lunar explorers, the other option might be 3D printing tools out of moon dust. Because if there’s one thing the Moon has way too much of, it’s dust. Those moon turds above are three different test prints, using moon dust as the 3D printing medium.