(ORDO NEWS) — The Chinese “Zhuzhong” was transferred to sleep mode due to deteriorating weather conditions on Mars.
Now the temperature on the planet during the day does not exceed -20 degrees Celsius, and at night it drops to -100 degrees Celsius. Space.com writes about it.
In addition, at the moment on Mars, the activity of dust storms was recorded in the very area in which the rover moved. If he had continued on his way, he might have suffered from the ravages of the sand.
The Chinese rover is not alone in its plight: NASA’s InSight lander, which arrived on the Red Planet in November 2018, is also struggling to generate enough solar power to keep going.
In contrast, NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers can continue their journey across the surface of Mars regardless of the time of year because they are powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators.
The Zhuzhong rover has a few tricks in its design to help it survive winter temperatures and sand and dust storms.
These measures include the ability to tilt the solar panels for maximum “light harvesting”. The panels themselves have a special dustproof coating.
The rover is expected to resume operations in December, with the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere and the disappearance of local dust storms.
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