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.
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 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.
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.