Zhurong attained hibernation on May 18, with a temperature of approximately minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 20 degrees Celsius during the local Mars day and minus 148 F or minus 100 C during the night, according to an announcement from the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. China’s Tianwen 1 orbiter, which sent Zhurong to Mars last May, furthermore detected sand and dust storm activity over Zhurong’s dock area in Utopia Planitia with its medium-resolution camera.
Zhurong has a few tricks to help it withstand the challenges of winter climates and sand and dust storms. These measures include the potential to angle its solar panels to maximize sunlight collection and a cloud of extraordinary anti-dust blanketing on the panels.
China’s rover is not independent in its plight, and NASA’s InSight lander, which arrived on the Red Planet in November 2018, strives to generate sufficient solar power to proceed with operations. In contrast, NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers can continue their missions across the surface of Mars regardless of seasons since they are powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators, a type of nuclear energy.
China’s Yutu rovers on the moon are sanctioned to enter an inactive state for lunar nights, which prevails for about 14 Earth days. Nonetheless, according to Chinese officials, the Zhurong rover will be eligible to autonomously detect the development in solar energy levels and power up once again. The rover is predicted to resume activities once again in December, with the onset of spring in the northern hemisphere and the clearing of local dust storms.