The remote-controlled robot “Zhurong”, in exploration on Mars, no longer gives any sign of life

The remote-controlled robot (“rover”) has been exploring the Red Planet since May 2021. At the time, China was the first country to successfully orbit, land and deploy a ground vehicle on its very first mission towards Mars.

However, now many fear that Zhurong did not survive the heavy sandstorms and his solar collectors were clogged. “It wouldn’t be surprising if the rover didn’t come out of sleep mode. It runs on solar power and there’s a long history of solar-powered landers and rovers on Mars that ended up without energy,” David Flannery, of the Queensland University of Technology, and member of the American team behind the Perseverance robot, told the journal “Nature”.

Other experts remain more optimistic and hope that temperatures will rise, allowing Zhurong’s sensors to store enough energy. “It is too early to say that something is not working,” argued for his part Baptiste Chide, also on the Perseverance project and scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

On the other hand, the fact that the Chinese space program has not yet manifested itself is “curious”, reacted on condition of anonymity a member of the “Zhurong” team. Still, the Chinese mission is already considered a success, as all plans have been implemented.

The rover circulated on the surface of Mars for a distance of about 2 kilometers and collected many scientific discoveries. It also found old traces showing the presence of water, and ran three months longer than expected.

China is the third country after the United States and the former Soviet Union to land a spacecraft on Mars. Only the Americans had previously circulated a vehicle on the ground of the red planet.


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