China’s lunar rover Jade Rabbit (Yutu), the first such explorer for 40 years, entered a critical condition during my pre-Chunjie AWOL period in Cambodia. The mythological and theatrical aspects of the mission promptly escalated to a whole new level. Xinhua movingly communicated the crippled rover’s words:
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. Nevertheless, I’m aware that I might not survive this lunar night. [Moon Goddess Chang’e] doesn’t know about my problems yet. If I can’t be fixed, everyone please comfort her.
Before departure, I studied the history of mankind’s lunar probes. About half of the past 130 explorations ended in success; the rest ended in failure. This is space exploration; the danger comes with its beauty. I am but a tiny dot in the vast picture of mankind’s adventure in space. 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 …
Goodnight, Earth. Goodnight, humanity.