On Frida, new pictures of China’s Mars rover exploration Mars have been shared, with the media stating this as the mission’s ”complete success”.
The rover was named Zhurong after a Chinese mythology god of fire. The rover landed on May 15, on the region of Mars called Utopia Planitia. This marks China’s 1st mission in Mars, and the second country to land a rover in Mars, after the US.
The first images of Mars were sent by the rover in May, many days after its landing, in which a flat landscape and a deployed ramp is showed.
According to news agency Xinhua, a 360-degree panorama of the area was included in the photos that were sent on Friday, with many more pictures that the rover took before it started to drive around. The Mars surface was also included in one of the pictures, with rocks, dunes and crater on the side.
Another picture has the Chinese flag that is put near the landing platform. A selfie was taken by the rover through a wireless camera where it shows a small Chinese flag on its equipment and its expanded solar panels.
This rover has six wheels and its expected to last 3 months. The solar-powered rover will search for evidence or signs of ancient life on Mars, at the same time, its orbiter will conduct scientific observation operations.
The head of China’s national space Zhang Kejian said that: ””China will publish the related scientific data in a timely manner to let humankind share in the fruits of the country’s space exploration development.”
Chinese Tianwen-1 probe was also launched last July, carrying Zhurong as well as two global Mars missions: UAE’s Hope Probe and NASA’s Perseverance rover.
The three missions were launched around the same time because of an alignment between the Earth and Mars that occurred on the same side of the sun, which made the journey much more successful.
Despite the fact that Zhurong is not technologically as developed as NASA’s Perseverance, however, it sends a message that China’s space abilities are indeed catching up with the US.