The Zurong rover, named after the god of fire in Chinese mythology, landed in the Utopia Planitia region of Mars on May 15. This is China’s first Mars mission – only the second country to land a rover on the planet. United States of america.
The third picture shows the Chinese flag near the landing platform. The rover also took a selfie using a wireless camera that showed its extended solar panel and a small Chinese flag on its instruments.
The six-wheeled solar-powered rover is intended to last for three months, during which it will search for signs or evidence of ancient life on the surface of Mars. While the rover is exploring the planet, its orbiter is also conducting scientific exploration operations.
“China will publish relevant scientific data in a timely manner so that mankind can share in the fruits of the country’s space exploration development,” Zhang Kejian, head of China’s National Space Agency, said in the Xinhua report.
China launched its Tianwen-1 probe last July carrying the Zurong and other instruments along with two other international Mars missions: NASA’s Perseverance rover and the United Arab Emirates’ Hope probe.
All three missions launched around the same time due to the alignment between Mars and Earth on the same side of the Sun, allowing a more efficient visit to the Red Planet.
While the Zurong isn’t as technologically advanced as NASA’s Perseverance, which is currently also hovering over Mars, its presence sends a clear signal that China’s space capabilities are catching up with the US.
The core module is currently the largest spacecraft developed by China. But the station would need to be assembled from multiple modules launching at different times; According to Chinese state media, the station could be fully operational by the end of 2022.