China seems to be the latest country whose space probes are experiencing the strange ability to die, and come back to life, and this one positively compels some high octane speculations:
Now what interests me here is that, for those aware of it, this fits a now familiar pattern of space probes and satellites mysteriously shutting down and equally mysteriously coming back to life. As I recounted in Covert Wars and the Clash of Civilizations, early American communications satellites mysteriously died, and in the case of one Air Force satellite that was written off as dead, equally mysteriously came back to life. Additionally, we're all familiar with the Martian surface rover that died. We were told that the solar panels became coated with dust. Equally mysteriously, it came back to life. I and others have suggested the Windex Hypothesis, namely, that someone came along and cleaned the solar panels for us, or as an alternative, The Secret Snooping Hypothesis, whereby we are told a surface rover has died, while it is secretly steered around looking at things and taking secret pictures of them. This has the advantage of concealing from the public any pictures that might have been taken. After all, the public cannot demand FOIA releases of said pictures, if said pictures do not exist (or were given to another agency while the rover was "dead'). Well....you get the....er.... picture.
However, there are a number of really weird statements here, that make me wonder if China has itself now become victim to a variant the Windex Hypothesis (we'll call it the Seleno-Mechanic Hypothesis), or if it has been running it's own version of The Secret Snooping Hypothesis. Let's consider the two paragraphs of this little article carefully:
"Zombie on the moon: China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover has shown signs of life despite earlier reports that it had died following mechanical difficulties in the extreme cold of the lunar night. The rover—which signed off with the ominous words "Goodnight humanity" at the end of January—is now sending out signals and Chinese state media say it has become "fully awake," reports the BBC.
"'At first we were worried the rover could not withstand the low temperatures on the moon, because it entered its dormant state while in an abnormal state,' a spokesman for China's lunar program says. 'It is still alive, so there is a chance it could be saved.' Technical teams are still trying to determine the source of the problems and it's not clear whether the probe, part of the first "soft landing" moon mission since 1976, will be able to resume searching the lunar surface for resources, reports CNN."
Ok, first off, we can discount the idea of "mechanical difficulties in the extreme cold of the lunar night." Granted, nights on the Moon do get a bit nippy, but the Chinese are not idiots, and they already know this and, not being idiots, would have designed and tested their Jade Rabbit accordingly. Granted, through some glitch of engineering or other human failure, the Chinese might indeed have put a lunar probe on the Moon's surface that died due to the cold. Which raises the thorny question of why did it come back to life? Did it warm up just enough in the lunar day to become semi-functional again? My problem with that is that usually if something fails due to extremities of cold, they do not usually come back to life without a helpful mechanic nearby to get everything functioning again. And what's true of complex machines like cars and terrestrial cold is even more true of highly complex and finicky things like lunar rovers in lunar nights.
So my guess, my speculation, is that the Chinese, taking a cue from Never A Straight Answer - NASA - simply told everyone that "woops, me miscalculated, our probe froze but, thank goodness, it's still functioning," while they went secretly roving on the Moon. At least they are more transparent in this respect than anyone else: their probe is "looking for resources," and the long range-commercial goal is thus evident, and that would imply that at some point, the Chinese would take their probe "black".
Except... there's that bothersome message, "Goodnight humanity," and then the equally sudden full-functionality again. Seleno-Chinese humor while they went exploring? or The Seleno-Mechanic Hypothesis?
Either way, China has now joined the USA and Russia in having strange things happen to its space probes. While we cannot say that this is a genuine space anomaly, the pattern is, after decades of this sort of stuff, now familiar, and at the minimum, we have more evidence that things in space are not all we're being told they are, any way one slices it.