Long March launches Chinese satellite
Posted: Mon, Mar 31 2:10 PM ET (1810 GMT)
A Long March rocket placed what Chinese officials said was an experimental satellite into orbit on Monday. The Long March 2C rocket lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 10:58 pm EDT Sunday (0258 GMT, 10:58 am Beijing time Monday) and placed the Shijian 11-06 satellite into orbit. Official Chinese media said that the satellite, whose launch was not announced in advance, will be used to conduct scientific experiments, without providing additional details. Western observers speculate that the satellite has a military mission, perhaps as part of a missile early warning constellation.
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Yutu rover awakes from dormancy but with continued technical problems
Posted: Mon, Mar 17 5:50 AM ET (0950 GMT)
China's Yutu lunar rover awoke late last week still suffering from the same mechanical problems that have plagued the rover since January, Chinese officials said. Contact with the rover was restored at 6:42 pm EDT Thursday (2042 GMT Thursday, 6:42 am Friday Beijing time) after the rover hibernated through the two-week lunar night. Official Chinese media said that while the rover's instruments continue to function normally, "control issues" with the rover that apparently keep it from moving persist. Officials first indicated there were mechanical problems with the rover in late January, and a delayed recovery of rover communications last month after a previous hibernation period led to initial reports that the rover suffered a fatal malfunction. The cause of the rover's mechanical problems is unknown. Yutu landed on the Moon on December as part of the Chang'e-3 lander, which continues to operate normally.
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