China’s first Mars rover Zhurong was supposed to come out of hibernation last month, but the Asian country’s space agency CNSA says questionable privacy Around the position of the vehicle, which runs on solar power, leading experts feel that it could not have survived the harsh Martian winter.
Zhurong separated from the orbiter on May 14, 2021, to land in a vast basin in the northern hemisphere of Mars. He then traveled about two kilometers from the landing site, searching for rocks, potholes, sand dunes and other natural formations. Last year, the CNSA decided to discontinue the vehicle. due to dust storm,
These storms blow up a large amount of dust which reduces the amount of sunlight that the vehicle receives and creates a problem of pollution. Although the Chinese rover’s solar panels deflect dust away and can be tilted to prevent it from freezing, it ultimately relies on aftermarket winds to clear them completely.
Then there is the problem of temperature. with minimum -20 degrees during the day and -100 at night, the rover needs more power to keep the battery warm and prevent failure. In terms of savings, engineers turn off all equipment except the communication system. once the power level reaches 140 watts And the temperature of the components will exceed -15 degree, Zhurong will send a contact signal to Earth. But that communication has not come yet.
Although it is too early to conclude that the rover has been damaged, CNSA’s secrecy is “strange”, as a member of the Zhurong scientific team defined it in the journal Nature, And that the Chinese agency fears that the same will happen with the Tianwen 1 orbiter, which has stopped sending signals for a few days. The same silence that the country keeps.