CHINA / SOCIETY
China's Zhurong Mars rover kicks off roving mission after driving off landing platform
Published: May 22, 2021 02:02 PM

Photo:CNSA

Photo:CNSA

Named after an ancient fire god of Chinese mythology, the 1.85-meter-tall and some 240-kilogram Zhurong Mars rover safely drove off the landing platform and reached the surface of Mars at 10: 40 am on Saturday, kicking off its roving mission, the Global Times learned from the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

China has become the second country in the world to successfully deploy a robotic rover onto the surface of Mars, breaking up US' monopoly in the field, Chinese space analysts hailed.

The rover will carry out environmental perception and scientific detection in the patrol area as planned. At the same time, the orbiter will operate in the relay orbit to provide stable relay communication for the rover's patrol and exploration. The orbiter is serving as a data relay station for communications between Zhurong and mission controllers on Earth.

On Wednesday, Zhurong sent back the first images it took on Mars via the orbiter. The pictures show the landscape ahead of the robot when it sat on its landing platform. 

China's Zhurong rover sends back images from Mars. Photo: CNSA

China's Zhurong rover sends back images from Mars. Photo: CNSA
 

China's Zhurong rover sends back images from Mars. Photo: CNSA

China's Zhurong rover sends back images from Mars. Photo: CNSA


On May 15, Zhurong rover sent back signals, marking the successful landing of Tianwen-1's on Mars. The missions of the Tianwen-1, China's first interplanetary expedition, are to study the morphology and geological structure of Mars, the characteristics of the soil and water ice distribution on the surface of Mars, the composition of Martian surface materials, the characteristics of Martian atmosphere ionosphere and surface climate and environment, and the physical field and internal structure of Mars.

The smooth landing of the Tianwen-1 probe has made China the third nation that has achieved such a feat, following Russia and the US. 

Photo: Coutersy of CAST

Photo: Coutersy of CAST


 


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