China’s Zhurong rover has its mission extended, will continue exploring Mars | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

China’s Zhurong rover has its mission extended, will continue exploring Mars

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. Now, it looks like these three will continue exploring for some time to come, as Zhurong has just had its mission extended.

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, though, 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.

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