There are currently no less than three rovers active on the surface of Mars: NASA’s Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, along with China’s Zhurong rover. Each rover has its own working procedures and contributes to the mars mission in many ways. One among the three rovers, China’s Zhurong Mars rover, has completed its mission. The Zhurong rover has officially finished its 90-day mission to explore Utopia Planitia on the Martian surface, according to space.com.
Zhurong rover’s mission
Zhurong, which is named after a traditional Chinese fire god, was originally intended to explore Mars for 90 days. The rover rolled onto the surface for the first time on May 22 this year after landing on May 14, and the 90-day mission period was completed on August 15. The rover is still active and working scientists reported. so the Chinese National Space Administration announced on Friday, August 20, that the rover’s mission would continue.
The agency also confirmed that the rover is technically sound and fully charged, so it’s ready to do more science. The charging is a concern as Zhurong is solar-powered, unlike NASA’s two rovers, which are nuclear charged. That means Zhurong relies on the weak sunlight that reaches Mars to generate its power, though it can help boost its power levels by turning its solar panels to face the sun.
One of the motives of Zhurong’s mission is to search for ice beneath the Martian surface and to investigate the Martian rocks to look for clues to the history of water on Mars. Designers of the mission expect more information would be obtained with the extension of the mission and the geology of Mars can also be well studied.
The rover has also collected information about the Martian atmosphere and weather, including finding that the atmosphere there maybe even thinner than previously thought.