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China's Mars rover expected to resume work in December

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-09-20 23:56
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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 - China's Mars rover Zhurong, currently in sleep mode, is expected to wake up automatically in December when its energy level hits over 140 watts and the temperature of components like the battery rise above minus 15 degrees Celsius, according to its research team.

Jia Yang, deputy chief designer of the Tianwen-1 Mars mission from the China Academy of Space Technology, said Zhurong will resume work once it has met these two specific conditions. He revealed the news at a science popularization event held in Beijing on Monday night.

After waking up, the Chinese rover will continue to head south to acquire more data on the planet, Jia added.

On May 18 this year, having traveled around 1,921.5 meters on the surface of Mars, Zhurong switched to dormant mode due to the chilly winter and dusty weather on the planet.

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