Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Innovation

China's Zhurong rover switches to dormant mode in severe Martian dust storm

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-05-20 15:44
Share - WeChat
Photo released on June 11, 2021 by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) shows a selfie of China's first Mars rover Zhurong with the landing platform. [CNSA/Handout via Xinhua]

BEIJING -- Mars rover Zhurong has been switched to dormant mode while waiting out a dust storm on the surface of the planet, the China National Space Administration said on Friday.

The latest images taken by cameras onboard China's Tianwen 1 Mars orbiter show a dust storm passing over the patrol area of Zhurong. Scientists compared them with photos taken in the last two months and analyzed recent power data of the rover's solar wings, which indicated Zhurong now braving an intense Martian dust storm.

According to the administration, the patrol area of Zhurong has entered the winter season, during which the daytime temperatures can drop below minus 20 C, while the night below minus 100 C. By mid-July, the temperatures will fall further.

To tackle the dust storms and low-temperature challenges, the Chinese rover went into dormancy on Wednesday. It is expected to wake up and resume work in December when the dust clears and Mars enters its spring season, the administration said in a statement.

Scientists will continue to use the Tianwen 1 orbiter to monitor the weather on Mars' southern hemisphere.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349