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China Releases Photos of Zhurong Rover on Surface of Mars

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
June 11, 2021
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Zhurong rover and its lander on the surface of Mars. (Credit: CNSA)

BEIJING (CNSA PR) — On June 11, at the unveiling ceremony of the first batch of scientific images of the Tianwen-1 rover landing on Mars in Beijing, the panoramic view of the landing site, the topography of Mars, the “Chinese imprint” and the photographs such as a group photo with a tour. The release of the first batch of scientific image maps marked the complete success of China’s first Mars exploration mission.

The “touring group photo” shows the Zhurong rover traveling about 10 meters south of the landing platform, releasing the separate camera installed at the bottom of the vehicle, and then retreating to the vicinity of the landing platform. The separate camera took pictures of the movement of the rover and the photo of the rover and the landing platform. The image is transmitted to the rover through wireless signals, and then relayed back to the ground by the rover through the orbiter.

Panorama of the Zhurong rover landing site on Mars. (Credit: CNSA)

The panoramic view of the landing site is made by the navigation terrain camera on the mast of the rover to take a 360° ring shot, after correction and mosaic stitching, when the rover has not left the landing platform. The image shows that the terrain near the landing site is flat, and the Martian horizon can be seen in the distance. The abundance and size of the rocks are consistent with expectations, indicating that the autonomous selection of the landing site and the implementation of hovering obstacle avoidance are effective. The Mars topography map is the first topography and geomorphology image map taken by the navigation terrain camera after the rover reaches the surface of Mars.

Zhrong rover landing area. (Credit: CNSA)

The image shows that the nearby surface is relatively flat, with stones of different sizes distributed, with smooth edges, lighter colors, and semi-buried. There is a ring pit at the far end, with darker, angular stones on the edge of the ring pit. , And a few sand dunes farther away.

The “Chinese Imprint” map is an image of the landing platform taken when the Mars rover travels to the landing platform about 6 meters south of east by 60°. The image shows that the landing platform is shining, the national flag is bright red and square, and the surface is rich in details.

Zhurong lander (Credit; CNSA)

Zhang Kejian, director of the National Space Administration, said that the entire space line will resolutely implement the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions, continue to carry forward the work style of rigorous, careful, and vigorously coordinated work, organize and implement various scientific exploration missions, and obtain high-quality scientific data; uphold open sharing ,

The concept of mutually beneficial cooperation, timely release of scientific data products, so that all mankind can share the achievements of China’s aerospace development; meticulously demonstrate and implement follow-up major aerospace projects, promote the high-quality development of the aerospace industry, and make greater contributions to the construction of a powerful aerospace country and a powerful country in science and technology.

China’s first Mars exploration mission was fully launched in 2013, and the project was approved in January 2016. On July 23, 2020, the Tianwen 1 probe was successfully launched in Wenchang, Hainan. After the phases of ground fire transfer, Mars capture, Mars mooring, off-orbit landing and scientific exploration, the engineering mission was carried out smoothly as planned, as of June 11 , The orbiter is in good condition in the relay orbit, and the “Zhurong” rover has been working on the surface of Mars for 28 Martian days. (Cai Jinman, Liu Qingfeng, Zhang Wei)

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