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China releases photos of its Mars rover on surface of the red planet

The Zhurong rover, named after a god of fireplace in Chinese mythology, landed on the Utopia Planitia area of Mars on May 15. This is China’s first Mars mission — making it solely the second nation to land a rover on the planet, after the United States.

The rover despatched again its first photos of Mars in May, a number of days after touchdown, exhibiting a deployed ramp and the flat panorama the place it arrived.
The new photos this Friday included a 360-degree panorama of the touchdown space, stitched collectively from a quantity of photos the rover took after touchdown earlier than it started driving via the space, in response to state-run news company Xinhua. Another picture confirmed the orange Martian surface, with scattered rocks, a round crater on the far facet, and dunes in the distance.

A 3rd picture reveals the Chinese flag close to the touchdown platform. The rover additionally took a selfie utilizing a wi-fi digicam, exhibiting its prolonged photo voltaic panels and a tiny Chinese flag emblazoned on its gear.

The six-wheel solar-powered rover is meant to final three months, throughout which it’s going to seek for indicators or proof of historic life on Mars’ surface. While the rover explores the planet, its orbiter can be conducting scientific detection operations.

“China will publish the related scientific data in a timely manner to let humankind share in the fruits of the country’s space exploration development,” mentioned Zhang Kejian, head of China’s nationwide area company, in the Xinhua report.

China’s Mars mission succeeded in coming into the planet’s orbit and touchdown a rover that might traverse the Martian surface in a single go. It took NASA a number of missions to finish these difficult steps, albeit a long time earlier than China, between 1971 and 1997.
China releases the first images taken by its Mars rover

China launched its Tianwen-1 probe, carrying Zhurong and different gear, final July together with two different worldwide Mars missions: NASA’s Perseverance rover and the United Arab Emirates’ Hope Probe.

All three missions launched round the identical time resulting from an alignment between Mars and the Earth on the identical facet of the solar, making for a extra environment friendly journey to the red planet.

While Zhurong just isn’t as technologically superior as NASA’s Perseverance, which can be at the moment roving Mars, its presence sends a transparent sign that China’s area capabilities are catching up with these of the US.

Chinese astronauts have lengthy been excluded from the International Space Station — and one of the nation’s ambitions is to construct its personal area station. In April, it took a step nearer to that purpose, efficiently launching the first module of the deliberate facility.

The core module is at the moment the largest spacecraft developed by China. But the station will have to be assembled from a number of modules launching at completely different instances; the station could possibly be absolutely operational by the finish of 2022, in response to Chinese state media.

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