China’s space agency CNSA launched its first Mars rover Zhurong on May 14, 2021, to land in a vast basin in the northern hemisphere of Mars. The rover has been travelling around the area, searching for rocks, potholes, sand dunes and other natural formations. However, due to dust storms, lack of sunlight and extreme temperatures ranging from -20 degrees during the day to -100 degrees at night, the rover is struggling to survive. CNSA’s secrecy regarding the rover’s position is “strange”, as a member of the Zhurong scientific team defined it in the journal Nature. The rover needs more power to keep the battery warm and prevent failure and engineers have turned off all equipment except the communication system. It is yet to be seen whether the rover has been damaged and the same silence is being kept for the Tianwen 1 orbiter, which has stopped sending signals for a few days.
Today: December 2, 2023