The Chinese Mars rover Zhurong has completed its primary mission on the red planet. The Mars rover would explore the Martian surface for 90 sols, or about 92 Earth days. The rover continues to explore the red planet even after its mission is complete.
The Chinese space agency CNSA writes that Zhurong has successfully completed all his proposed tasks, the organization writes. Since landing in the Martian region of Utopia Planitia in mid-May, the Mars rover has, among other things, traveled about 900 meters over the Martian surface and analyzed various types of rocks and other surfaces. Zhurong is “in excellent condition” and fully charged, according to the CNSA.
Zhurong landed on the red planet on May 15 and has been conducting research there ever since in Utopia Planitia, an area on Mars where there may have been an ocean and possibly ice underground. Among other things, Zhurong did research on the Martian surface and looked for signs of life on the planet. To do this, the Mars rover had six different soil survey instruments, including a radar instrument that can see through the planet’s surface.
According to the CNSA, Zhurong’s measurement tools are working well and the Mars rover has sent 10GB of raw science data to Earth using its Tianwen 1 orbiter. This orbiter would have flown above Zhurong’s position once a day to transmit data to Earth, Space.com also writes.
The hope is that this data could eventually help scientists better understand Mars and its history. “Hopefully, by providing this data to our scientists, we can get a deeper understanding of the geology of Mars, and then even see if we can find evidence for the existence of an ancient ocean in Utopia Planitia,” said Tianwen’s chief designer. 1 to CCTV.
The Mars rover will temporarily cease operations between mid-September and the end of October. That’s because of an expected interruption of its communication with Earth, caused by solar electromagnetic radiation. After this, Zhurong will resume his mission.
Zhurong on the Martian surface