Following the Chinese Jade Rabbit rover's mechanical mishap on the moon, veteran Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart took time to pay homage to the stricken rover with a humorous parody.
The Jade Rabbit rover landed on the moon on Dec. 14. More than a month into its mission however, the rover experienced a "mechanical control abnormality" due to the moon's harsh environment. While Chinese engineers are still looking for a way to revive the damaged vehicle, the state-run media agency in China released a somber soliloquy in the "voice" of Yutu, the Jade Rabbit.
While the Jade Rabbit's last "diary entry" may has been received with grief in China, it seems to have been used in a humorous context for a skit in The Daily Show. Former Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart who played the role of the iconic Captain Jean Luc Picard donned a cardboard costume in the "likeness" of the Jade Rabbit to deliver a parody, quoting lines from the Jade Rabbit's last "diary entry."
Poking fun at the Jade Rabbit's current state, Stewart proceeds with his hilarious monologue with the grace and ability of a veteran thespian.
"Although I should've gone to bed this morning, my masters discovered something abnormal with my mechanical control system," Stewart says while emulating the Jade Rabbit. "My masters are staying up all night working for a solution. I heard their eyes are looking more like my red rabbit eyes."
Meanwhile, the Chinese space agency in charge of the Jade rabbit continues to wait for the current lunar night to end. Lunar nights last approximately 14 days in Earth time and the current night will end on Feb. 13. However, lunar nights are notorious for being very cold and temperatures can reach as low as minus 180 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, electronics and mechanical components may have difficulty in coping and the Jade Rabbit may never "wake up" even after the lunar night ends. However, Chinese scientists and citizens alike continue to hope for the best.
While many are disappointed with the rover's performance, mechanical failure of machines on the moon is not unheard of. In fact, incidents like these are fairly common and even veteran space agencies from countries like Russia and the United States have often suffered similar setbacks in previous missions to space.