China has finally confirmed that its rover will probably never wake up again

According to Live Science, Zhang RongchaThe chief designer of China’s Mars exploration program recently announced in a conversation with China Central Television that Jurang, the country’s first Mars rover, is probably covered by dust and therefore its solar panels cannot provide enough power to wake up the probe from hibernation.

This scenario has long been considered the most likely reason for Jurang not waking up. This rover in May 2022 with the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere Mars went to sleep and then it was expected to resume its activity in December 2022 with the end of the cold season and the increase in the intensity of the sun’s radiation. In March, NASA images of the Red Planet showed the rover in the same position it had been in since hibernation began nearly a year earlier.

It was hoped that the unusual cold of the Martian winter was the main culprit for Jurong not waking up, and that the rover would be operational again as the temperature rose; But Zhang’s recent comments suggest that dust is the most likely cause. According to Zhang, Jurong’s mission to explore a vast flat area on Mars called the Utopia Plain was originally supposed to last only three months; But the rover lasted 358 days before going to eternal sleep. During this time, Jurang traveled 1921 meters from the surface of Mars.

China’s Mars rover in 2021 aims to study Martian rocks, magnetic fields and weather It landed on the red planet. This probe carried six scientific instruments, including subsurface detection radars, surface composition detector, surface magnetic field detector, multispectral camera, meteorological station and special navigation camera on the surface of Mars. The explorer’s name is taken from the god of fire in Chinese mythology.

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