China’s Zhurong Rover Takes its First Spin on the Martian Surface

China’s Zhurong rover has taken itself for a spin on the surface of Mars for the first time. Footage released by the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) showed the rover descending from its landing platform to the ground and capturing the scene from its front and rear cameras. A week before Zhurong made history, China became the second country to successfully land an executive mission on Tuesday, turning the ramp and arriving on Martian soil at 10:40 a.m. Beijing time (2:40 a.m. UTC) on Saturday. 

The six-wheeled rover, which weighs about 240 kilograms (513 pounds), snaps pictures using its navigation camera. The rear hazard-alignment camera captured the lander traveling 474 million kilometers (295 million miles) to get there. The rover, landed in honor of the Chinese god of fire, will spend the next 90 units (equivalent to 92 Earth days on Mars), mapping the area around Utopia Planitia, studying the surface structure, observing the weather on Mars, and searching for evidence. Presumably, it will deliver the first batch of science in a month. Utopia Planitia in the northern hemisphere of Mars is a huge basin covering about 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles), it was probably formed by the influence of the early history of the Red Planet.

Evidence proves that it was once the sea and May still have ice shops hidden in its depths. Excitingly, the published photos were also taken in stereo, meaning that if you have an extra pair of 3D movie glasses at home (otherwise, NASA has a helpful guide on how to make your own) you can watch the first drive in glorious 3D.

There is a very good chance that Zhurong original 90-single run will be surpassed. CNSA’s Moon Rover, Yutu and Yutu-2 have both surpassed their original three-month mission, just as NASA’s Opportunity Mars Rover has been operating for 15 years, while the more recent historic Mars helicopter, the invention, has surpassed many of its perseverance. The real 30-day technology demonstration becomes a partner. Tianwin-1, which sent Zhurong to Mars and is still in orbit, will be sent back to Mars for the entire Marian year – about 687 Earth days to study Earth Day – a more incredible image of the Red Planet.