Last month China sent a rover to the moon, Jade Rabbit. Only to have it go 'silent' before sending this message back to Earth and given voice by the official Xinhua News Agency.

"If this journey must come to an early end, I am not afraid," said the six-wheeled, solar-powered rover. "Whether or not the repairs are successful, I believe even my malfunctions will provide my masters with valuable information and experience."

Then it shut down for the lunar night, which lasts about 14 earth days - its status is currently unclear.

Only to now have NASA comment:

"As NASA pursues an ambitious plan for humans to explore an asteroid and Mars, US industry will create opportunities for NASA to advance new technologies on the moon," said Greg Williams, NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

NASA has launched a program called 'Catalyst' to exploit commercial opportunities offered by the that hunk of green cheese that orbits Earth.