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Moon rover Yutu sleeps as night comes

BEIJING - China's moon rover "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit) went to sleep at 5:23 am Thursday Beijing Time as the first lunar night for the mission fell, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said.

Yutu slept upon command from Beijing Aerospace Control Center. The lander had already fallen asleep at 11:00 am Wednesday.

One night on the Moon lasts about 14 days on Earth, during which the temperature falls below minus 180 celsius. There is no sunlight to provide power to Yutu's solar panel.

Scientists said Yutu can survive the night with its thermal control system, with a radioisotope heat source.

Yutu and the lander compose Chang'e-3, which soft-landed on moon on December 14. Yutu later separated from the lander. The two have collected a lot of data.

Scientists will study and analyze data collected by Yutu and the lander while the two sleep, SASTIND said.

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