The Chinese probe Tianwen-1 will remain deactivated for about 50 days from mid-September due to the effect of solar electromagnetic radiation, local media reported today.

During this period, the Earth and Mars will be at the maximum distance and aligned with the Sun in between, so the solar electromagnetic radiation “will affect communications,” Zhang Rongqiao, Tianwen’s chief designer, told the media yesterday.

Such radiation will make communications difficult between the components of the mission, made up of an orbiter, a landing module and a rover called Zhurong, and control from Earth.