Zhuong’s Chinese robotic vehicle hit the surface of Mars

China became only the second country after the United States to manage to transport an apparatus to the surface of Mars that would then function properly. According to Reuters, this is also the first time that a country has been able to place a satellite in its orbit during its first mission to Mars and at the same time successfully land on the surface with a research vehicle.

China’s Tiananmen Mars Mission began last July with a launch from the Chinese Wenchang Space Center on Hainan Island. After less than seven months of flight, the spacecraft – consisting of a satellite, a landing module and a robotic vehicle – successfully reached a designated orbit around Mars in February.

Chinese module on Mars pictured on May 19.

Foto: Cnsa, Reuters

The satellite will remain in orbit and will explore the planet from above using, among other things, high-resolution cameras, a spectrometer, a magnetometer and a special radar designed to map ice. It will also provide communication with the rover, whose equipment includes, in addition to cameras, instruments for geological survey and climate research, as well as a powerful radar that will look for possible pockets of water below the surface. On Earth, microbial life is found in such pockets.

The Chinese rover operates in the area of ​​Utopia Planitia, ie on a plain in the northern hemisphere, which according to previous surveys is probably covered with lava and possibly permafrost. The American spacecraft Viking 2 landed in this area in 1976. There are now three American missions operating on Mars – the InSight module and the Curiosity rovers and the latest Perseverance, which landed in February this year.

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