US satellite looks down on China’s Zhurong Mars rover

Soil disturbance created by the touchdown rockets is seen across the rover platform. Zhurong itself has trundled off the platform for brief distance

An American satellite has pictured the brand new Chinese rover on the floor of Mars.

The picture acquired by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) reveals the Zhurong robotic a brief distance in entrance of its touchdown platform.

It’s the primary impartial affirmation of the Chinese mission in motion.

The HiRise digital camera on MRO additionally detected the parachute and parts of the capsule (backshell and heatshield) that introduced Zhurong via the ambiance.

The rover landed on 14 May in a area of the planet known as Utopia Planitia. This is an enormous terrain in Mars’ northern hemisphere.

After releasing footage of the automobile rolling down the platform’s ramp a couple of days later, the Chinese authorities then went into a protracted interval of quiet earlier than offering their very own black-and-white satellite view of the touchdown website earlier this week.

Now, MRO-HiRise has adopted up with a color perspective.

Chinese scientists hope get a minimum of 90 Martian days of service out of Zhurong

The robotic looks so much just like the US house company’s (Nasa) Spirit and Opportunity automobiles from the 2000s.

It weighs some 240kg. A tall mast carries cameras to take footage and assist navigation; 5 further devices will examine the mineralogy of native rocks and the final nature of the atmosphere, together with the climate.

Like the present American rovers (Curiosity and Perseverance), Zhurong has a laser software to zap rocks to evaluate their chemistry. It additionally has a radar to search for sub-surface water-ice – a functionality it shares with Perseverance.

Chinese rover

In this wider view, MRO-HiRise locates the parachute and backshell (the highest half of the entry capsule)

Chinese rover Zhurong of the Tianwen-1 mission drives down the ramp of the lander onto the surface of Mars, in this screenshot taken from a video released by China National Space Administration (CNSA) on 22 May 2021

The Zhurong rover drove down the ramp of the lander on to the floor of Mars

Artwork rover

Artwork: Zhurong looks much like Nasa’s Spirit and Opportunity automobiles

Map of Mars

Map of Mars

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