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Finally, the wheels of the Zhurong rover touched the surface of Mars.  A new mission begins

Finally, the wheels of the Zhurong rover touched the surface of Mars. A new mission begins

It took a long time, but every part of the Tianwen-1 mission continues without any problems. As for the first Martian mission in Chinese history, it is simply exciting.

On Saturday 4:40 pm Poland time łazik Zhurong It rolled off the landing pad on the roof The red planet. Thus his mission officially began.

Immediately, the images captured by the cameras on the rover appeared on the Internet.

In the coming days, Zhurong will start exploring the Utopia Planitia Plain and explore more exciting things using six different scientific instruments, including cameras, spectrometers and radars that can study what is directly below the surface. Scientists hope to use it to find out new information about it Water ice depositsWeather conditions and terrain geology.

The Zhurong rover mission is currently scheduled to last 90 Mars days. It was not known if his mission would be extended. However, it should be noted that the Chinese Yutu 2 rover has been operating on the unseen side of the Earth for more than two years and is still collecting data, while its mission was initially planned for 90 days. By the way, it is the longest rover in the history of all spacecraft on the surface of the Moon.

By the way – I did not think so Zorong It is too big

Usually, we receive very little information about China’s space missions. So, today, I was surprised by the information about the size of the Chinese rover. You might have been wrongly assuming that China would decide to start sending a small rover to Mars, as the United States did in 1997 when a Sojourner the size of an RC toy car landed on Mars as part of the Pathfinder mission. Later, the Americans sent the first spirit chariots ChanceThat was a little bigger, and finally sent out powerful rovers Curiosity of I Determination. All US Rover groups can be seen in the image below.

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Meanwhile, photos of an identical version of Zhurong appeared today at the mission planning center. And so it turns out that the rover, although much lighter than tenacity (240 kg versus 1020 kg), is not much smaller than the rover’s size. At 185 cm high, 260 cm long and 3 meters wide, it is a truly impressive size for the first spacecraft to be sent on any planetary mission.

Zhurong rover size comparison and tenacity

Dimensions of the Zhurong rover

It remains to be hoped that Zhurong will prove to be as effective as Yutu 2 and will travel on Mars for the duration of his lunar brother.

By the way, did you know that China is the only country in history that has at the same time two rovers operating on two different spheres of the solar system? It feeds thought, right?