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China’s Mars rover named after fire god, to ignite interplanetary exploration enthusiasm
Published: Apr 24, 2021 10:08 AM
Picture released on Aug. 23, 2016 shows the concept portraying what the Mars rover and lander would look like.Photo:Xinhua

Picture released on Aug. 23, 2016 shows the concept portraying what the Mars rover and lander would look like.Photo:Xinhua


China unveiled the highly anticipated name of the country's first Mars rover - Zhurong - at the opening ceremony for this year's Space Day of China activities centered in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province.

Named after a fire god in Chinese mythology, the Zhurong Mars rover is hoped to ignite the spark of China's interplanetary exploration and guide humanity deep into the vast yet unknown outer space, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA.)

The global campaign to name the rover kicked off in July 2020. Netizens from all over the world were invited to vote for their favorite out of 10 candidates from January 20 to February 28. 

Photo:Deng Xiaoci/GT

Photo:Deng Xiaoci/GT


Three possible names emerged in March, with "Zhurong," the fire god in ancient Chinese mythology, topping the list.

The 240-kilogram rover is 1.85 meters in height with a designed life of 3 Martian months, which is approximately 92 days on Earth.

China launched the Tianwen-1 Mars probe on July 23, 2020, which successfully entered Mars' orbit by February this year.

Tianwen-1 will deploy a lander and a rover bundled together for landing at Utopia Planitia in mid or late May.
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