Solar panels to power Mars rover

China | 23 Jul 2020 10:47 am

China is ready to launch the Tianwen-1 Mars rover, which includes an orbiter, a lander and a rover. So what do they look like? The country unveiled full-sized models of the lander and rover on Wednesday, state media reports..

The rover will work for over 90 days on Mars, exploring the planet and sending back what it detects to Earth.

It's equipped with a 60-centimeter-high mast with detecting device, two panorama cameras on its top to avoid obstacles when moving forward, as well as a multispectral camera to identify minerals.  

It also has four giant "wings" – solar panels to provide power for it. The rover can adjust the angles of its solar panels to receive more solar power, according to Liu Tongjie, deputy director of the Moon Exploration and Space Engineering Center of the China National Space Administration.

"As Mars receives less solar energy than the Earth and the Moon, the area [of its solar panels] is larger. It can angle its solar panels according to the direction of the sunlight. The more vertical the angle is, the more solar energy it will receive," said Liu.

Other instruments onboard include a detection radar, magnetometer and meteorological instruments, which will enable it to conduct an all-round exploration of Mars.

It can detect the ingredients of soil 10 meters underneath the surface of Mars and of ice 100 meters below the surface.

The rover is made out of hi-tech materials so that it can move at a speed of 200 meters per hour on Mars' surface despite the harsh conditions.


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