The rover Zhurong has reached the surface of Mars shrouded in mystery, one of the hallmarks of the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) space exploration. The Chinese rover arrived at northern hemisphere of the planet neighbor on May 14 about 23.18 UTC; that is, at 1:18 a.m. Spanish peninsular time and 4:18 a.m. Mexico City time. But what did the CNSA want to tell about the mission of this rover sent by China?
Zhurong is the rover that left Earth as part of the Tianwen-1 mission last July. In February, the mission entered the orbit of Mars, where it has remained until now. And, in addition to the Zhurong rover, the Chinese mission included an orbiter.
The Zhurong rover was baptized with this name at the end of last April. The CNSA has called the rover like a God of fire from ancient Chinese mythology; furthermore, separately means “Desire” and “integration”. This, in the words of Wu Yanhua, vice-administrators of the CNSA, reflects China’s vision of the peaceful use of space, as indicated by the EFE Agency.
Zhurong aims to learn more about the surface and subsoil of Mars through its different instruments
The rover has landed on Utopia Planitia, a large plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars that is thought to have been an ancient ocean. And its objective? The idea of China’s space agency is that the rover provides more data on the Water and the life on mars; also on its ground and subsoil. For this reason, analyze the composition of the rocks of Mars with its panoramic and multispectral cameras and instruments, according to Europa Press. But, in addition, you will also look at the characteristics of the subsoil with a penetrating radar.
And is that the explorer is equipped with a total of seven scientific instruments. Two remote sensing cameras, a Mars subsurface exploration radar; a Mars ion and neutral particle analyzer and an energetic particle analyzer.
In addition, Zhurong is 1.85 meters tall and weighs about 240 kilos; similar measurements to rovers like Spirit and Opportunity. And it has six wheels and four solar panels that allow you to reach 200 meters per hour on the surface of Mars.
Although the mission of the CNSA is programmed to be of only three months, it is likely to be on the surface of Mars longer. And it is that other rovers, like Spirit and Opportunity, had missions programmed in Mars of 90 days; but then they were walking around and doing science for years on the red planet.
Other rovers on Mars
China is already the third country to bring a rover to the surface of Mars, after the United States and the former Soviet Union
We know that the Zhurong rover is the first of its kind to be shipped from China. And it has already become the third country to take a rover to Mars, behind the United States and the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union was the first to put a rover on Mars, the Marsnik 3, which was only on for a few seconds; but it marked the beginning of space exploration with vehicles of this type. The United States has become one of the leading explorers with other rovers. What’s more, just a few days after Tianwen-1 entered orbit; the Mars 2020 mission, which was the NASA Perseverance rover, landed on Mars on February 18.
Knowing Mars, whether with data sent from the Chinese rover or the Americans, is essential. We do not know if there ever was life on the red planet, but looking for it is important to know more about where it can appear and answer one of the great unknowns that human beings ask themselves: are we alone in the universe? However, this is not the only question that we can solve when sending missions to the neighboring planet. Knowing how rocky planets form and evolve is also necessary.