China produces first image from Zhurong Mars Rover
As one of the most prominent nations in the space industry, China has slowly but surely grown its potency and significance on the scene. Today, China offers various different ideas and techniques that are not being tried out elsewhere – and this is the same when it comes to their space program. the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) has just released the first series of photos to come from their Zhurong Mars rover. This was sent to Utopia Planitia, making it the second country to be able to send a rover to Mars and land it successfully.
This is a landmark moment for Chinese space programs, then. The waiting for the Tianwen-1 orbiter to able to reach a position where it could safely collect the data from the rover has passed. Now, we are able to see actual image photos coming down from the work and progress being produced by Chinese space experts. The CNSA even shared some outstanding GIFs of the rover itself being separated from the Tianwen-1.
The vehicle is a six-wheeled rover that was designed to be capable of traveling the confusing landscape of Mars. The rover itself is still on the lander, too, as the team look to investigate the various terrain around the area. Armed with a host of equipment for reading and scanning the area, including weather stations, magnetic field detection tools, and cameras, this is a tool equipped to bring back some very impressive, detailed analysis of Mars.
Indeed, they also have tools on-board that will allow the creature to look some 100m below the surface of the planet. The hope is that the rover will be able to work for around 90 sols – or 92 days in total. However, some rovers are known to far exceed their initial capacity.
Lander separation from orbiter: pic.twitter.com/bWGVhvdnNn— Cosmic Penguin (@Cosmic_Penguin) May 19, 2021
A landmark moment for China
As more and more nations continue to make progress into the worlds beyond our own, it’s going to become intriguing to see the response. More nations are ploughing investment into the ‘space race’, and many expect this to become a deeply competitive industry in the decades to come. However, for now, the other organisations are being magnanimous.
Indeed, even NASA’s Administrative Sen. Bill Nelson sent a congratulatory message to the CNSA, saying: “Congratulations to the China National Space Administration on receiving the first images from the Zhurong Mars rover!
“As the international scientific community of robotic explorers on Mars grows, the United States and the world look forward to the discoveries Zhurong will make to advance humanity’s knowledge of the Red Planet. I look forward to future international discoveries, which will help inform and develop the capabilities needed to land human boots on Mars.”