What is China’s Zhurong rover
China’s Zhurong rover is a first rover to land on another planet created by China. This rover was landed on mars, previous two rovers were landed on moon. Zhurong is a part of Tianwen-1 mission to mars held by China National Space Administration. It is manufactured by China Academy of Space Technology.
It was launched on 23 July, 2020 from Wenchang, it has a mass of 240 kgs, and it has totally travelled 1.784 km on mars as of 24 march, 2022.
China’s Zhurong rover got a soft landing on mars on 14 May, 2021. It made China third successful country to have a soft landing on mars. This rover is studying engineering feasibility such as latitude, altitude, rock distribution, local wind speed, and many more things including some scientific studies such as surface element, water and ice distribution, elements and minerals, and magnetic field detection.
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Just few days back there was a sandstorm, recorded by Zhurong rover. It released few ‘Selfies’ from cameras on mars, the thin layer of sand storm would not affect the storing capacity of Zhurong and this rover did not got much distribution but the good thing was that this rover captured few pictures of this sandstorm.
China National Space Administration said that the images got a proof of thin layer of dust that accumulated on the rover surface since it’s launched. CNSA statement on Thursday clears that this dust storm affected the power generation efficiency of its solar wings to an extent but it still had enough energy to conduct their task.
The orbiter had studied and recorded the dust activities on northern hemisphere of mars since January and captured few images and sent back in February of dust storm.
Space authorities also have released a high resolution pictures taken by Tianwen1 that shows marks left by Zhurong. They even said that this rover has travelled a total of 1784 meters in 306 mars days.
On March 7, the Tianwen1 captured few images of NASA rover perseverance while capturing the images of Jezero crater, there’s nothing much jus showed that US robot was about 200 meters southeast of the rover.
The rocky texture on Mars observed that there may be indicating both the presence of physical weathering such as impact sputtering, wind erosion and also freezing weathering and water interactions. The paper said ‘These rock and soil targets provide excellent opportunities to peek into the aqueous history and climatic evaluation of the northern hemisphere and shed light on the habitual evolution on mars.
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Que- How does dust affect rovers on mars?
Ans – After, a complicated work of landing the rovers on mars, the main problems arise there is the climatic conditions rovers have to face on mars. On mars the huge problem arises is the dust and the sand storms on the surface that can be so powerful that they can totally destroy the rovers. On earth there is 71 percent of the surface is water and when the dust touches the water we do not face any dust storms due to this reason. Mars do not have much water to hold dust so the planet faces a lot of problems due to mars.Due to this, many problems can be faced by rovers, there panels can be damaged or their communication can be disturbed, and also this can totally damage a rover.
Que – What we learn from the mars rover?
Ans – As studying from previous experiences on dust on mars scientist can develop new strategies that can help the rovers facing dust, they could use a special coatings on arrays to make them less adhesive. They could even grid of electronic wires above the arrays that a spacecraft or rover run on a charge.One more option is that to evolve to double sided with the arrays on a few joints that could flip over or change itself whenever needed more in every year. Many gave the suggestion to use wipers on the rovers to clean the dust but on other surfaces the rubber doesn’t work and the motors do not get suited on mars environment.
Que – Does mars have global dust storms?
Ans – As on June 2018, localised dust storms combined and does spread to form an impenetrable blanket of dust that covered almost full surface of the world, Hence, with much information it can be stated that there can be global dust storms but it does long only few hours around.