China moon rover bids adieu
Updated: 2014-05-16 10:31
By Zhao Lei (China Daily)
Zong Weiyi gained popularity online for presenting a personalized account of rover Yutu's experiences and feeding online curiosity about the moon mission. [Photo provided to China Daily]
A blogger's bid to chronicle the life of China's beloved moon rover has enhanced public interest in space science but will likely leave fans sad when the Jade Rabbit 'dies'. Zhao Lei reports.
Zong Weiyi is a 24-year-old woman who works at Guokr.com, one of the country's top science websites, and talks to more than half a million people each week on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter.
Beauty and wealth aren't exactly driving her popularity. Rather, she is famed for working as a bridge between "earthlings" and a rabbit that is roaming the moon. Yes, Zong is the "voice of Yutu".
Jade Rabbit, or Yutu, is China's first and only lunar rover, which is now in its fifth planned dormancy on the celestial body. As a lead blogger, Zong presents a personalized account of Yutu's experiences and feeds online curiosity about the moon mission.
"I rejected requests for interviews with several Chinese media organizations that contacted Guokr (earlier), and I know many have speculated on who is running the micro blog," Zong says.
"I didn't want to reveal my identity to the public because I am convinced that sometimes a micro blog's vitality and popularity come from its mystique.
"I just wish to get more people interested in space exploration."