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BEIJING — China says its first lunar rover is experiencing mechanical problems, a rare setback for its burgeoning space program that in recent years has conducted space walks and placed a space station in orbit.
The six-wheeled Yutu vehicle began operating last month after making the first soft landing on the moon by a space probe in 37 years. It was designed to roam the lunar surface for three months while surveying for natural resources and sending back data, along with its stationary lander, Chang’e 3.
The mission has been a popular success for China’s space program and the rover has attracted more than 150,000 followers on its microblog. It last posted on Saturday saying repairs were underway and hope was not lost.