China releases unpublished photos of Mars taken by its Zhurong rover

China revelou nesta sexta-feira (11) novas fotos de seu rover em Marte
China revealed on Friday (11) a new image of its rover on the surface of Mars
Photo: CNSA/Reuters

a China Friday (11) revealed a new image of his rover in Mars Exploration of the surface of the Red Planet, described by state media as a sign of the “complete success” of the mission.

The rover Zhurong, named after the god of fire in Chinese mythology, Landed in Utopia Planitia on May 15 15. This is the first Chinese mission to Mars. This makes the country only the second to land a vehicle on the planetAfter the United States.

or rover He sent his first pictures of Mars in May, a few days after landing, showing a planted slope and the flat landscape from where it arrived.

New images taken on Friday included a 360-degree panorama of the landing area, created from a series of photos taken by the rover after landing and before beginning to drive through the area, according to the state news agency. Xinhua.

Another image showed the orange surface of Mars, with scattered boulders, a circular crater on the other side, and sand dunes in the distance.

The third picture shows the Chinese flag near the landing platform. The rover also took a selfie using a wireless camera showing its extended solar panels and a small ornate Chinese flag on its device.

The six-wheeled, solar-powered spacecraft is expected to last for three months, during which it will search for signs or evidence of ancient life on Mars. During the craft’s exploration of the planet, the orbiter also makes scientific detections.

“China will publish relevant scientific data in time to allow humanity to share in the fruits of the development of space exploration in the country,” Zhang Kejian, head of China’s National Space Agency, said in a Xinhua text.

The image of the Chinese rover Zhurong shows the orange surface of Mars
The image of the Chinese rover Zhurong shows the orange surface of Mars
Photo: CNSA/Reuters

China’s Mars mission has managed to enter the planet’s orbit and land a vehicle that can cross the surface of Mars at once. It took several NASA missions to complete these difficult steps, albeit decades earlier than China, between 1971 and 1997.

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China launched its Tianwen-1 spacecraft, carrying Zhurong and other equipment, in July 2020, along with two other international missions to Mars: o Perseverance for the rover from NASA it’s at Emirati Hope Probe.

All three missions were launched at the same time due to the alignment between Mars and Earth on the same side of the Sun, making the trip to the Red Planet more efficient.

While Zhurong is not as technologically advanced as the tenacity of NASA, which is also roaming Mars, her presence sends a clear signal that Chinese space capabilities are catching up with those of the United States.

Panorama of the landing area of ​​the Chinese probe Zhurong on the surface of Mars
Panorama of the landing area of ​​the Chinese probe Zhurong on the surface of Mars
Photo: CNSA/Reuters

Chinese astronauts have long been excluded from the International Space Station – and one of the country’s ambitions is to build its own space station. In April, China went a step closer to this goal, successfully launching the first unit of the planned installation.

The main unit is currently the largest spacecraft developed by China. But the station will need to be assembled from several units launched at different times and could be fully operational by the end of 2022, according to Chinese state media.

(translated text; Read the original text In English)

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