Another Successful Mars Rover Deployment – This Time For China!
Houston, the Zhurong has landed! The 15th of May 2021 saw the Tianwen-1, China’s probe, landed with great success and a roaring technical crowd on the red planet!
The China National Space Administration (CNSA)
Unlike their space exploration counterparts in America, the CNSA are less vocal about their plans until it comes to their actual achievements. This past Saturday was no exception when their Tianwen-1, carrying the Zhurong rover in this confines, made a successful landing on Mars’ Utopia Planitia – the site of a planned future shipyard for Starfleet.
The Proof is in The Landing
Since there was no live streaming for the mission, the world–especially the Chinese and Asian populations waited with bated breath for news. Even though the fundamentals of landing such a craft are similar to other landings, it doesn’t make it any less exciting to feast your eyes on!
The autonomous Tianwen-1 lander took a slightly different approach than what we’re used to by, instead of skimming past the Martian surface to orbit it instead. The difference between the landings of Tianwen-1 and Perseverance is that upon the entry of the Chinese, their entry velocity clocked four km/s whereas, for the American’s, they entered into Mars at a speed of five km/s.
It remains to be seen if the CNSA will release any footage or images of what Zhurong can see on the Martian planet. For the time being, Zhurong is yet to make contact with Mars, waiting for the ramps that will take it right to Mars’ surface.
Once this phase has been successfully executed, the Zhurong will make its planned 90-day voyage across the planet. It is said that CNSA has instructed the rover to look for subsurface water ice.
Looking for Water on Mars
This endeavor is made possible with the help of a ground-penetrating operating system onboard the rover that operates on a dual-frequency. It can detect layers of ice as deeply rooted as 100km below the surface.
If you are yet to watch the landing, see the video below: