China’s observation craft landing on Mars sent its first photographs taken from the surface. China made history as the second country to successfully land on Mars last week.
The Zhurong rover, which China landed on the surface of Mars last week, shared its first photos. In the photos released today by the Chinese space agency, we get the opportunity to see both the surface of the Red Planet and the Zhurong traveler.
One of the photographs draws attention in color and the other in black and white. Part of the Zhurong rover can be seen along with the surface in the color photo. The black and white photo shows a part of the landing vehicle Zhurong is currently clamped on. Zhurong will leave the landing vehicle and explore the Red Planet in the coming days.
The Zhurong rover was launched to Mars last summer as part of the Tianwen-1 mission. Tianwen-1 reached the Red Planet in February after a long space adventure of about seven months. This is the first time that China has placed a probe in orbit of Mars. The Zhurong rover left Tianwen-1 and landed on May 15, about three months later.
During this three-month period, Chinese researchers had studied the planet in detail and tried to determine the best location for Zhurong’s landing. After this research process, Zhurong made his landing in the region of Mars named Utopia Planitia today. Utopia Planitia was also the site where Viking 2 spacecraft owned by NASA landed in 1976 .
Zhurong, which weighs 240 kilograms, carries a total of six scientific equipment on it. It is stated that among them are two panoramic cameras, underground radar and a magnetic field detector. There is also a laser similar to the one in the Curiosity observer. Zhurong will use this laser to shoot stones on the surface and examine their components.
After this great success with Zhurong, China has passed as the second country to land on Mars. Apart from NASA and China, the Soviet Union and the European Space Agency have also made landing trials but were unsuccessful.