The Chinese rover Zhurong successfully landed on Mars on May 15. And he just sent us his first pictures of the red planet.
Perseverance and Curiosity are no longer the only rovers on the Red Planet. The Chinese space agency has indeed sent its own rover to Mars. Named Zhurong, he landed successfully on May 15. This is a big step for China as it seeks to become more and more influential in space. Proof of this is with the space station that it intends to install by 2022. The objective is in particular to send humans to the Moon in the long term.
But back to Zhurong. His mission on the Red Planet is expected to last three months. In particular, it will collect data on Martian geography. Before starting its work, the rover captured its first pictures of the red planet. And to send a little message to the earthlings on Twitter: “Everything seems ok! Preparation of final deployment and scientific missions. Water and ice under the surface of Mars 100 meters deep? About to find out! “
March: the Zhurong rover arrived safely!
On the first photo (in black and white), we can observe the ramp that will allow him to access the surface of the planet. Obviously, the Chinese space agency has opted for a zone without relief, quite suitable for a landing. Only a few stones are present. For information, this is the plain of Utopia Planita, located in the northern hemisphere. This is where the rover will take its first steps during the following days. In the second photo (in color), Zhurong’s solar panels and antenna appear very clearly. Everything seems in any case in good condition.
As we said above, China does indeed intend to use its rover to study the planet. It remains to be seen whether the rover will have the time to collect relevant data in a short time. Regardless, Beijing’s goal was mostly to test its technology with a view to achieving a larger mission in the future.
We have a Hi-Res visual! This is #Zhurong (#Tianwen1) Mars Rover reporting to Earthlings! I’m currently at 109.9E, 25.1N, Utopia Planitia, Mars. All look good! Preparing for the final deployment and scientific missions. Water/Ice under Mars 100m-deep surface? About to find out! pic.twitter.com/xkh39C2y3n
— Chinese Zhurong Mars Rover (@MarsZhurong) May 19, 2021