China’s Jade Rabbit Moon Rover, the country’s first moon rover, made a “soft” landing on the Moon (the first since 1976) back in December, but last week, the space vehicle suffered a technical malfunction and isn’t expected to make it back to Earth.
Lest you think this 6-wheeled lunar rover is merely a piece of cold machinery, look no further than to social media, where Jade Rabbit has been sending messages about its lonely imminent lunar death, delivering a farewell to the inhabitants of Earth, leaving not one dry eye on the planet.
Jon Stewart joked about the situation on last night’s episode of The Daily Show, initially making light of the rover’s situation, but then Sir Patrick Stewart appeared as the Jade Rabbit sending its dying message from the Moon. As if just reading the rover’s statements weren’t sad enough, just wait until you hear it performed by Stewart. Check out the video here below.
For context, here’s what Jade Rabbit, also known as Yutu, sent out on its social media account (via The Mary Sue]:
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.
If this journey must come to an early end, I am not afraid. Whether or not the repairs are successful, I believe even my malfunctions will provide my masters with valuable information and experience.
The sun has already set here and the temperature is falling very quickly. I’ve said a lot today, yet still feel like it’s not enough. I’ll tell everyone a secret. Actually, I’m not feeling especially sad. Just like any other hero, I’ve only encountered a little problem while on my own adventure.
Good night, planet Earth. Good night, humanity.
Tell me that’s not heart-wrenching!!! That’s some WALL-E level stuff right there. According to the BBC, users of Sina Weibo, which is China’s equivalent to Twitter, have been posting words of support for the rover using the hashtag “#hang in there Jade Rabbit,” and posting rabbit-themed pictures and comic strips depicting a rabbit on the Moon.
Goodnight, sweet Moon Rover, forever sleep.
[Source: The Daily Show via The Mary Sue]