Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

More current images acquired by the rover were released on July 15th, 2021, which showed the rover examining the back cover and parachute more carefully (see listed below). By effectively deploying this objective, China became the very first nation to reach Mars with a mission that consisted of a lander, orbiter, and rover element. Prior to this, every area agency that successfully sent a robotic mission to Mars started with orbiters, followed by surface objectives– landers first, then landers with rovers.

On May 14th, 2021, the China National Space Agency (CNSA) achieved another significant turning point when the Tianwen-1 lander successfully soft-landed on Mars, making China the 2nd nation in the world to land an objective on Mars and establish communications from the surface area. Quickly afterwards, China National Space Agency (CNSA) shared the very first images taken by the Tianwen-1 lander.
By May 22nd, 2021, the Zhurong rover came down from its lander and drove on the Martian surface area for the very first time. Since then, the rover has spent 63 Earth days performing science operations on the surface area of Mars and has actually taken a trip over 450 meters (1475 feet). On Friday, July 9th, and once again on July 15th, the CNSA released new pictures of the Red Planet that were taken by the rover as it made its method across the surface.

Considering that then, the rover has actually invested 63 Earth days performing science operations on the surface area of Mars and has actually traveled over 450 meters (1475 feet). On Friday, July 9th, and once again on July 15th, the CNSA launched brand-new images of the Red Planet that were taken by the rover as it made its method across the surface area.

Considering that the rover released to the surface area of Mars, it has actually been traveling southward to check the surface and explore and has taken daily pictures of rocks, dune, and other functions utilizing its Navigation and Topography Cameras (NaTeCam). Meanwhile, other instruments– like the Mars Rover Penetrating Radar (RoPeR), Mars Rover Magnetometer (RoMAG), Mars Climate Station (MCS)– have actually also been gathering information on Mars electromagnetic field, weather condition, and subsurface.

Whenever the rover came throughout noteworthy landforms, it relied on its Mars Surface Compound Detector (MarSCoDe) and Multispectral Camera (MSCam) to bring out fixed-point scans to identify their composition. Amongst the new images are the two Martian rocks shown above (courtesy of CNSA by means of Xinhuanet) that exposed the rocks texture features, the thick layers of dust covering them, and impressions left by the ruts of the rover.
Other images (shown below, also from CNSA through Xinhuanet) consist of a landscape shot that was taken by Zhurong on June 26th, the rovers 42nd day on the Martian surface area (Sol 42). On this day, the rover arrived in a sandy area and took pictures of a red dune situated approximately 6 meters (~ 20 feet) away. As you can see (leading gallery image), the dune has numerous rocks strewn about it, the one straight ahead of Zhurong measuring 34 cm (13.4 inches) broad.
The next image (bottom left) was handled July 4th, Zhurongs 50th day on the Martian surface area (Sol 50), after the rover drove to the south side of the dune– which measures 40 m (~ 130 ft) long, 8 m (26.25 feet) large and 0.6 m high (2 feet). The 5th and final landscape image (bottom right) was taken when the Zhurong rover was at a range of 210 m (690 ft) from its landing site and 130 m (~ 425 ft) from the landers back cover and parachute.

These parts were part of the Tianwen-1 objectives Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) module. Whereas the back cover ensured that the rover and lander securely made it through deep-space and made it through the turbulent flight through Mars environment, the parachute was what permitted their regulated descent through the atmosphere so they might make a soft landing.
These elements are just noticeable in the upper right corner of the top image while a cluster of stones of various shapes shows up on the left. More recent images gotten by the rover were launched on July 15th, 2021, which showed the rover inspecting the back cover and parachute more carefully (see listed below). The first image (leading left) was acquired 3 days prior and reveals these 2 parts on the rovers left side as it continued its southbound patrol.
As the CNSA suggested in a press statement that was released together with the images:
” The photo shows the complete view of the parachute and the complete back after aerodynamic ablation. Cover structure, the mindset control engine diversion hole on the back cover is plainly identifiable, the rover has to do with 30 meters away from the back cover and about 350 meters away from the landing site during imaging.”
The 2nd and 3rd images (black and white) were taken by the front and rear barrier avoidance video cameras as the rover made its approach and departure from the back cover and chute. The fourth image shows the parachute after it was deployed throughout the landers descent over Utopia Planitia (where it landed) on May 15th. Yet another image was launched by the CNSA the following day, which shows Tianwen-1s landing site.
This image was taken by the orbiter component of the mission on June 2nd, days after the lander and rover component safely landed. The locations of the lander, the rover, the parachute, and back cover, and the heat shield are all suggested in white. The two white dots at the leading right corner are the lander and rover, the parachute and back cover are practically directly below it (the lengthened white mark being the chute) while the heat shield is at the bottom right.
The Tianwen-1 objective was quite the feather in the cap of the CNSA, and not just due to the fact that it was Chinas first mission to Mars. By successfully releasing this objective, China became the very first country to reach Mars with an objective that consisted of an orbiter, rover, and lander element. Prior to this, every space company that effectively sent a robotic mission to Mars began with orbiters, followed by surface area objectives– landers initially, then landers with rovers.
The Zhurong rover makes China the second nation in the world (after the United States) to run a rover and land on the Martian surface area. This will be followed in the near future by the Rosalind Franklin rover (part of the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars program) which will introduce from Baikonur Cosmodrome at some point this September and is expected to reach Mars on June 10th, 2023.
These missions will help pave the way for human exploration, which China is now hoping to do (together with NASA) throughout the 2030s. Much like all the crewed lunar missions planned for the future, the human expedition of Mars is expected to be an international affair!
Originally released on Universe Today.

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