Right now EMM Hope, Tiangwen-1 and Mars2020 are on their way to Mars and ExoMars will go next time.

For these four spacecraft how many of them have any provisions to use solar power via photovoltaic panels during transit?

I know that Mars2020 will primarily use the Perseverance rover's RTG for electrical power but I don't know for a fact yet that there is zero photovoltaic power capability during spaceflight.

As far as the other three are concerned, I'm sure at least some do.

If there is solar power used during launch or insertion into the interplanetary trajectory, that will be interesting to know about, but my question is primarily about the long interplanetary voyage.


1 Answer 1


I would guess all four spacecrafts use solar power during transit.

Tianwen-1 seems to have solar power during cruise:

Power: Solar cells, batteries (cruise stage) Solar cells, batteries (rover)

Source: https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/tianwen-1.htm

Hope spacecraft also has solar power (but here it says they will deployed "once in orbit"):

Mars2020 also has solar panels during the cruise:

The cruise stage supports the whole vehicle during the seven-month cruise to Mars, keeping it powered up, in communication, and on target. It features a large solar array, to provide power to the rover during the seven-month trip.

Source: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/spacecraft/overview/#Cruise-Stage

Exomars cruise stage also seems to have solar panels, see Figure 1 here:

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    $\begingroup$ I have added a new link for Mars2020 and a quote, so that relevant info will stay after link rot. I might add other quotes (for the other spacecrafts) later. I will also consider adding some images (I just need a clear image and the time to add it). $\endgroup$
    – BlueCoder
    Mar 18, 2021 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent, thanks! This is good enough for my link here $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 18, 2021 at 12:53

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