Science

Zhurong: Chinese rover sends “selfie” to the surface of Mars NetCost & Security

Faithful to what is already a tradition in interplanetary exploration, the Chinese rover Zhurong sent this Friday (11) its first selfie taken on Mars, equaling the feat of “neighbors” like Curiosity and Perseverance, both of NASA .

The color photo, taken from the ground with a wireless camera, shows Zhurong from the front, next to the lander that brought him to the planet’s surface on May 14 this year. On both vehicles, the Chinese flag appears prominently.

Zhurong and the landing module that brought him to the surface of Mars. Image: CNSA

The Chinese Space Agency (CNSA) also released another photo taken by Zhurong, which shows the robot’s landing module and descent ramp. It is possible to see in front of the ramp the traces left by the wheels of the rover and, behind the module, a “dark spot” on the ground caused by the expulsion of excess fuel during landing.

Read more:

China is the third country to land a vehicle on Mars, behind the Soviet Union (1971) and the United States (1976). Zhurong takes its name from a contest of Chinese Internet users and refers to a “god of fire” in a Chinese legend. This is appropriate since, in Chinese, Mars is known as a “fire star”.

The lander that brought Zhurong to the surface of Mars.  It is possible to see the marks of the rover's wheels in front of the ramp.  Image: CNSA
The lander that brought Zhurong to the surface of Mars. It is possible to see the marks of the rover’s wheels in front of the ramp. Image: CNSA

The robot, which is powered by solar energy, is equipped with a ground-penetrating radar capable of analyzing up to 100 meters below the planet’s surface, a magnetic field detector, an instrument meteorological, an infrared laser induction spectrograph, to measure the composition of rocks, and a multispectral camera, capable of capturing both types of visible and invisible light, such as infrared or ultraviolet.

The CNSA expects the Zhurong to operate on the surface of Mars for 90 “Suns” (the name given to the Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds. But it is not uncommon for this estimate to be Out of date: The Yutu 2 lunar rover had an estimated useful life of 90 Earth days, but has been exploring the far side of the Moon for 862 days.

Have you watched our new YouTube videos? Subscribe to our channel!

Back to top button