Home Latest China's Mars rover Zhurong is hunkering down for its 1st Red Planet...

China's Mars rover Zhurong is hunkering down for its 1st Red Planet winter – Space.com

Ads

Space is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s why you can trust us
By Andrew Jones published 11 May 22

China’s Zhurong Mars rover is adjusting to its first winter on the Red Planet while its companion orbiter continues to map the world from above.
Zhurong, part of China’s Tianwen-1 mission, has been operating in the vast basin of Utopia Planitia for 347 Martian days, or sols, and has traveled 6,302 feet (1,921 meters) across the planet’s surface, according to a May 6 update (opens in new tab) posted by the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program.
However, the rover is now receiving lower amounts of energy from the sun as winter takes hold in Mars’ northern hemisphere. 
Related: See a sunrise on Mars in this stunning view from NASA’s InSight lander (photo)
To compensate, the Zhurong engineering team has adjusted the angle of the solar wings for maximum sun exposure and reduced the working hours of the spacecraft to control its energy usage.
Zhurong has an automated sleep mode which will kick in if energy levels fall below a set point, triggering hibernation until environmental conditions improve. The coldest period for Zhurong is expected to occur in July.

But for now, the rover’s work continues. A new image from Zhurong’s navigation and terrain camera reveals rocks disturbed by a meteor impact.
Meanwhile, in orbit, the Tianwen 1 spacecraft that carried Zhurong on the seven-month journey from Earth to Mars has continued its work from above. 

Ingenuity Mars helicopter snaps amazing photos of Perseverance rover’s landing gear (video)
12 amazing photos from the Perseverance rover’s 1st year on Mars
NASA photos show the Perseverance Mars rover and tiny Ingenuity helicopter from space 
That work has included capturing stunning images of the Red Planet. The orbiter’s medium-resolution camera captured an image of Valles Marineris on April 1, while the high-resolution camera imaged Triolet Crater on April 17.
Tianwen 1 initially acted mainly as a relay satellite for Zhurong roving operations but has since focused on its own science objectives.
Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 
Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.
Andrew is a freelance space journalist with a focus on reporting on China’s rapidly growing space sector. He began writing for Space.com in 2019 and writes for SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, New Scientist and others. Andrew first caught the space bug when, as a youngster, he saw Voyager images of other worlds in our solar system for the first time. Away from space, Andrew enjoys trail running in the forests of Finland. You can follow him on Twitter @AJ_FI (opens in new tab).
Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!
Thank you for signing up to Space. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site (opens in new tab).
© Future US, Inc. Full 7th Floor, 130 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.

source

Ads
Previous articleAstrocast buying Hiber to boost funding and expansion plans – SpaceNews
Next articleApple should totally steal the newest ChromeOS feature for the Mac – Macworld
Sanjeev Ramachandran has found ultimate joy all through his 23-year-long journalism career by writing for national and international newspapers, websites and blogs. From technology to politics to sports to entertainment, he has been able to express ideas and pen opinion pieces on whatever triggers his interest. Currently at the helm of his own content and public relations company, called Siyahi – The Content & PR People, he makes sure that he doesn’t always let administrative tasks take over his writing space.