The Chinese Mars rover Zhurong, which has been on the surface of the red planet since May 15, has covered its first meters. Video images released by the Chinese space agency CNSA show the maneuver from different perspectives.
The maneuvers took place early Saturday morning, according to Beijing local time. The CNSA has released a video of the ride also on Twitter has been published on the Chinese state news medium CGTN. The 20-frame video shows rover Zhurong leaving the lander. That was filmed with cameras on both the front and back.
It is the first time the robber has moved on its own. No images of the lander and rover were available at the time of the landing on May 15; which followed on May 19. Then CNSA came up with a video of the lander exiting the space capsule and two photos: one of the rover’s view of the lander and a selfie.
Ultimately, the Chinese Mars rover must investigate the Martian surface, as well as look for possible traces of life on the planet. For example, the rover has six instruments on board for soil survey, such as a radar instrument that can see through the surface of the planet. The Chinese space agency hopes the Mars rover will remain active for 90 sols, or about three Earth months. Zhurong has landed on Utopia Planitia, a large area where there may have been an ocean in the past, and where there may be ice underground.
Simultaneously with this expedition, which is part of China’s Tianwen-1 space mission, NASA is engaged in its expedition with the Perseverance rover. It is about 1800 kilometers away.