China publishes new photos of its rover on Mars

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date of publication:
Jun 10, 2021 8:58 GMT

Update date: June 10, 2021 10:50 GMT

China’s National Space Administration has released new images of its rover “Zhurong” on Mars taken by the orbiter “Tianwen 1”, which orbits the red planet.

The high-resolution images show the landing zone on Utopia Planitia, the same area where NASA’s Viking Lander 2 landed in 1979.

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In the images, a dark area can be seen where the rover landed, which the Chinese agency indicates was caused by the engine shaft during landing.

The images also show bright symmetrical lines surrounding the rover and landing craft to the north, which are actually fine dust particles when the vehicles were emptied of fuel.

It is worth noting that the Zhurong spacecraft arrived aboard the orbiter Tianwen-1, entered Mars orbit on February 24, and launched from Earth in July 2020, following in the footsteps of the United States, where NASA landed on the Red Planet three months ago.

Named after the god of fire in ancient Chinese mythology, Zhurong is about the size of a small car and weighs 530 pounds, about a quarter of the weight of the two NASA spacecraft currently on Mars, Curiosity and Perseverance.

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Today, the China National Space Administration shared the image of the rover traveling through the dusty landscape, and the images were captured by a high-resolution camera installed on the Tianwen-1 orbit.

On Mars, Zhurong will spend 23 Mart days — a Martian day is about 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth — analyzing Martian soil and atmosphere, taking pictures, mapping, searching for water and ancient signs of life and conducting scientific exploration.

On the other hand, the Chinese news agency “Xinhua” reported that President Xi Jinping sent his “warm congratulations and sincere greetings to all members who participated in the Mars exploration mission.”

State media reported that China aims to complete the Chinese space station, also known as the Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) by the end of 2022.

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The Chinese space station is expected to have a mass of 180,000 to 220,000 pounds (80 and 100 metric tons), roughly one-fifth of the mass of the International Space Station, which is 925,335 pounds.

In subsequent missions planned in 2021 and 2022, China will launch the other two core units, four manned spacecraft and four cargo spacecraft.





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