On Could 14th, 2021, the China Nationwide Area Company (CNSA) achieved one other main milestone when the Tianwen-1 lander efficiently soft-landed on Mars, making China the second nation on the planet to land a mission on Mars and set up communications from the floor. Shortly thereafter, China Nationwide Area Company (CNSA) shared the primary photos taken by the Tianwen-1 lander.
By Could 22nd, 2021, the Zhurong rover descended from its lander and drove on the Martian floor for the primary time. Since then, the rover has spent 63 Earth days conducting science operations on the floor of Mars and has traveled over 450 meters (1475 ft). On Friday, July ninth, and once more on July fifteenth, the CNSA launched new photos of the Crimson Planet that have been taken by the rover because it made its means throughout the floor.
Because the rover deployed to the floor of Mars, it has been touring southward to discover and examine the terrain and has taken every day photos of rocks, sand dunes, and different options utilizing its Navigation and Topography Cameras (NaTeCam). In the meantime, different devices – just like the Mars Rover Penetrating Radar (RoPeR), Mars Rover Magnetometer (RoMAG), Mars Local weather Station (MCS) – have additionally been amassing information on Mars’ magnetic subject, climate, and subsurface.
Every time the rover got here throughout notable landforms, it relied on its Mars Floor Compound Detector (MarSCoDe) and Multispectral Digicam (MSCam) to hold out fixed-point scans to find out their composition. Among the many new photos are the 2 Martian rocks proven above (courtesy of CNSA by way of Xinhuanet) that exposed the rocks’ texture options, the thick layers of mud overlaying them, and impressions left by the ruts of the rover.
Different photos (proven under, additionally from CNSA by way of Xinhuanet) embrace a panorama shot that was taken by Zhurong on June 26th, the rover’s 42nd day on the Martian floor (Sol 42). On today, the rover arrived in a sandy space and took photos of a crimson dune situated roughly 6 meters (~20 ft) away. As you possibly can see (prime gallery picture), the dune has a number of rocks strewn about it, the one immediately forward of Zhurong measuring 34 cm (13.4 inches) large.
The following picture (backside left) was taken on July 4th, Zhurong’s 50th day on the Martian floor (Sol 50), after the rover drove to the south facet of the dune – which measures 40 m (~130 ft) lengthy, 8 m (26.25 ft) large and 0.6 m excessive (2 ft). The fifth and closing panorama picture (backside proper) was taken when the Zhurong rover was at a distance of 210 m (690 ft) from its touchdown website and 130 m (~425 ft) from the lander’s again cowl and parachute.
These parts have been a part of the Tianwen-1 mission’s Entry, Descent, and Touchdown (EDL) module. Whereas the again cowl ensured that the rover and lander safely made it by means of deep-space and survived the turbulent trip by means of Mars’ environment, the parachute was what allowed for his or her managed descent by means of the environment so they may make a gentle touchdown.
These parts are simply seen within the higher proper nook of the highest picture whereas a cluster of stones of varied shapes is seen on the left. Newer photos acquired by the rover have been launched on July 15th, 2021, which confirmed the rover inspecting the again cowl and parachute extra intently (see under). The primary picture (prime left) was acquired three days prior and reveals these two parts on the rover’s left facet because it continued on its southbound patrol.
Because the CNSA indicated in a press assertion that was launched together with the photographs:
“The image reveals the complete view of the parachute and the whole again after aerodynamic ablation. Cowl construction, the perspective management engine diversion gap on the again cowl is clearly identifiable, the rover is about 30 meters away from the again cowl and about 350 meters away from the touchdown website throughout imaging.”
The second and third photos (black and white) have been taken by the entrance and rear impediment avoidance cameras because the rover made its strategy and departure from the again cowl and chute. The fourth picture reveals the parachute after it was deployed in the course of the lander’s descent over Utopia Planitia (the place it landed) on Could 15th. Yet one more picture was launched by the CNSA the next day, which reveals Tianwen-1’s touchdown website.
This picture was taken by the orbiter component of the mission on June 2nd, days after the lander and rover component safely landed. The areas of the lander, the rover, the parachute, and again cowl, and the warmth defend are all indicated in white. The 2 white dots on the prime proper nook are the lander and rover, the parachute and again cowl are nearly immediately beneath it (the elongated white mark being the chute) whereas the warmth defend is on the backside proper.
The Tianwen-1 mission was fairly the feather within the cap of the CNSA, and never simply because it was China’s first mission to Mars. By efficiently deploying this mission, China grew to become the primary nation to achieve Mars with a mission that included an orbiter, lander, and rover component. Previous to this, each area company that efficiently despatched a robotic mission to Mars started with orbiters, adopted by floor missions – landers first, then landers with rovers.
On prime of that, the Zhurong rover makes China the second nation on the planet (after the US) to land and function a rover on the Martian floor. This shall be adopted within the close to future by the Rosalind Franklin rover (a part of the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars program) which is able to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome someday this September and is predicted to reach at Mars on June 10th, 2023.
These missions will assist pave the way in which for human exploration, which China is now hoping to do (alongside NASA) in the course of the 2030s. Very like all of the crewed lunar missions deliberate for the close to future, the human exploration of Mars is predicted to be a multinational affair!
Initially printed on Universe In the present day.