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Thread: China's Mars rover - Zhurong

  1. #1
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    China's Mars rover - Zhurong

    Decided to start a new thread dedicated to Zhurong. If all goes well, we will hear a lot from its exploits.

    https://www.nytimes.com/article/china-mars-space.html

    The Chinese rover, named Zhurong after a god of fire, will conduct a number of experiments studying the planet’s topography, geology and atmosphere. One goal is to better understand the distribution of ice in the region, which, in theory, could help sustain future visits by people.
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    "Chinese Mars rover makes it down to surface after months of preparation in orbit."

    https://spacenews.com/chinas-zhurong...opia-planitia/

    China succeeded with its first planetary landing attempt Friday, safely setting down the solar powered Zhurong rover on the surface of Mars.

    The 240-kilogram Zhurong rover touched down on the dunes of southern Utopia Planitia just after 7:00 p.m. Eastern May 14 after three months of preparations in orbit and around 9 minutes after entry into the Martian atmosphere.

    The critical entry, descent and landing sequences were carried out successfully, with a final hazard avoidance hover phase allowing selection of a safe final landing spot.

    Teams back on Earth will now prepare the rover, named after an ancient fire god, to complete a panoramic image of the landing area, perform systems checks and then descend from its landing platform and onto the Martian soil.
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    Good job.

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    China has become the second country to successfully land a rover on Mars with a six wheeled robot named Zhurong
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/new...5dd9dd7fa9b5d1
    NASAWatch on CGTN: China Lands A Rover On Mars http://nasawatch.com/archives/2021/0...h-on-cg-8.html
    'Nihao Mars': China's Zhurong Rover Touches Down On Red Planet
    https://www.ibtimes.com/nihao-mars-c...planet-3199379

    Jim Oberg, an ex NASA engineer, writer and space policy analyst, has coined the term “space power” to describe nations that have had success at certain mission or planets, countries and agency who may exploit space for economic, political reasons. Will China one day want to put people on Mars? Robert Zubrin thinks both China and SpaceX may have potential to put people on Mars and Musk at less than half the price bid by the others, it will likely prevail against other people in the Private sector.

    The Chinese Rover has a Ground-Penetrating Radar or GPR https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7572700/ and a Mars Surface Compound Detector using a form of Laser Spectroscopy https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.asr.2020.11.005

    A number of animations have been uploaded on social media, and of course you have that whole 'sounds in space' going on. How Would the Apollo re-enactment or Vostok 1 movies, Space Force or Star Trek or Star Wars Sound like in Real Space?...at lot less dramatic??
    https://twitter.com/MarsZhurong/stat...79988762767360

    Lots of speculation on what happens next on social media. 'What the mission aims to do at Mars.'
    https://twitter.com/willgater/status...67081828577283

    Teams back on Earth will now prepare the rover, named after an ancient fire god, to complete a panoramic image of the landing area, perform systems checks and then descend from its landing platform and onto the Martian soil.

    The rover will then begin an initial 90-day mission to explore and analyze the local area, climate, magnetic field and subsurface.
    Zhurong is equipped with six science payloads, including a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument for analysing surface elements and minerals, panoramic and multispectral imagers, a climate station, magnetometer and a ground-penetrating radar.

    It aims to return data on potential water-ice deposits, weather, topography and geology, complementing science carried out by missions from other space agencies.

    The presence of water ice at the low latitudes of Utopia Planitia could have implications for understandings of potential past or present habitability and was as future crewed Mars missions.
    Zhurong’s climate station will also be valuable for future plans, says Maria Hieta, a space engineer at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, adding to data coming from other instruments carried by NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers and the InSight lander.

    “Combining the measurements of all the weather stations will help us to better understand the Martian climate and will undoubtedly bring new information, and will also help us prepare for future human exploration,” Hieta says.
    Last edited by Launch window; 2021-May-15 at 02:02 PM.

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    It’s a shame not to have more news about it here. Hopefully in a better and more peaceful future.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    It’s a shame not to have more news about it here. Hopefully in a better and more peaceful future.
    HI KaiYeves,

    It's crazy really. A few weeks ago I saw a live Chinese launch on YouTube and was thinking things are changing. In a way, the West has no choice but to show the warts and all. But over time, this openness has proved very beneficial to the industry. Sheesh, SpacedX, arguably the most successful, does everything under the scrutiny of many and willingly.

    Anyway, congrats to China. They get some PR value but left tons untapped.

    Cheers,

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    Thanks all for the links.

    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "Chinese Mars rover makes it down to surface after months of preparation in orbit."

    https://spacenews.com/chinas-zhurong...opia-planitia/
    Interesting to read in this article that InSights was listening to the landing which could help calibrate its other marsquake measurements...

    NASA’s InSight lander was also listening for signs of the landing attempt through the atmosphere and on the ground. “This is only the second time we’ve been able to try something like this, so it’s incredibly exciting,” InSight team member Benjamin Fernando told SpaceNews. “If we do manage to hear Zhurong landing, we’ll be able to use it to calibrate the measurements we’ve made of other marsquakes.”
    More from Nature magazine China landed its first rover on Mars - here's what happens next which is worth a read.

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    "The rover's landed. What now?"

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-05-1...TSE/index.html

    China's first Mars rover, Zhurong, has touched down on the red planet, becoming the country's first spacecraft landing on Mars on Saturday. On a note of celebratory breakthroughs, the rover will carry out more tasks and even encounter unknown situations in the following three months.

    The landing module landed at a pre-selected zone in the southern part of an icy area of the planet known as Utopia Planitia. Zhurong's first task is survival, as the environment on Mars is no utopia at all.

    Though it looks like a desert on Earth, the wind speed on the red planet can reach 180 meters per second, three times stronger than a typhoon on Earth. The strong gale could develop into a huge sandstorm stirred with massive sands and rocks. The rocks covered densely on the surface of Mars could also cause troubles for the rover.
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    Though it looks like a desert on Earth, the wind speed on the red planet can reach 180 meters per second, three times stronger than a typhoon on Earth. The strong gale could develop into a huge sandstorm stirred with massive sands and rocks.
    Sidenote: atmospheric density is less than 1% of earth's while its gravity still is 38%, so take the above with a grain of Martian sand.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Sidenote: atmospheric density is less than 1% of earth's while its gravity still is 38%, so take the above with a grain of Martian sand.
    They were very small rocks.
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    China's Mars rover - Zhurong

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Sidenote: atmospheric density is less than 1% of earth's while its gravity still is 38%, so take the above with a grain of Martian sand.
    Sounds like someone in the PR office saw The Martian a few too many times.

    That said it s good that the rover made it down safely. Landing anything in one piece on Mars is tough. I hope China shares the science data as rapidly as possible because this looks like an interesting mission.

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    "China's Tianwen-1 probe sends back Mars landing visuals"

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/20210...d0bac0166.html

    Two photos and two videos captured by China's Mars probe Tianwen-1 during and after the country's first landing on the red planet were released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Wednesday.

    The lander carrying a rover of the Tianwen-1 mission touched down in the southern part of Utopia Planitia, a vast plain on the northern hemisphere of Mars, on May 15, becoming the country's first probe to land on a planet other than Earth.

    The first photograph, a black and white image, was taken by an obstacle avoidance camera installed in front of the Mars rover. The image shows that a ramp on the lander has been extended to the surface of Mars. The terrain of the rover's forward direction is clearly visible in the image, and the horizon of Mars appears curved due to the wide-angle lens.
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    "China’s Mars rover returns first images — scientists say the view is promising"

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01365-5

    The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has revealed the first images from Mars taken by its Zhurong rover, which arrived on the surface on Saturday. Scientists say that the shots — which show the rover with its solar panels unfurled and the ramp from its lander deployed — also hint that it has arrived at a safe and ideal site from which to begin its exploration.

    “The first images show, first and foremost, a terrain that will be easy to drive over,” says Alfred McEwen, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

    He and other space scientists say they are thrilled to see a flat landscape, which appears largely free of obstructions — such as craters, rocks and boulders — from which it can begin to explore, and potentially travel relatively long distances to features of interest seen in satellite imagery.

    “We are very excited. But we are still waiting for more images with high resolution to come,” says Yuyan Zhao, a planetary geochemist at the Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Guiyang.
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    "China's first Mars rover starts exploring red planet"

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/202..._139963090.htm

    China's first Mars rover, Zhurong, drove down from its landing platform to the Martian surface Saturday, leaving the country's first "footprints" on the red planet.

    Zhurong's first successful drive made China the second country after the United States to land and operate a rover on Mars.
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    Andrew Jones post includes a video of the drive down to the surface.

    https://spacenews.com/zhurong-rover-...after-landing/

    China’s Zhurong rover descended onto the surface of Mars late May 21, a week after the vehicle’s historic landing in Utopia Planitia.

    The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced Saturday that the six-wheeled Zhurong had reached the surface at 10:20 p.m. Eastern Friday.
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    Aljazeera's coverage of the drive. The rover will only travel 10 meters a day for the first 3 days.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/...the-red-planet

    A remote-controlled Chinese motorised rover drove down the ramp of its landing capsule on Saturday and onto the surface of Mars, making China the first nation to orbit, land and deploy a land vehicle on its inaugural mission to the Red Planet.

    Zhurong, named after a mythical Chinese god of fire, drove down to the surface of Mars at 10:40am Beijing time (02:40 GMT), according to the rover’s official Chinese social media account.
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    Does it mean there would be a confrontation between China and the US in space programs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cannongray View Post
    Does it mean there would be a confrontation between China and the US in space programs?
    Why do you ask that? They are far apart on Mars.
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    "Scientific Agenda"

    https://www.leonarddavid.com/china-m...ntific-agenda/

    China’s Zhurong Mars rover is scouting about on the Utopia Planitia region of the Red Planet, a site that may offer astrobiological potential.

    “There could be fossils there,” explains James Head, professor of geological science at Brown University, adding that the robot could be on the floor of an ancient — billions of years old — ocean.
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    "Hong Kong PolyU professor unveils 'Mars Camera'"

    http://www.ecns.cn/video/2021-06-04/...f8951129.shtml

    This "unimpressive" camera is called "Mars Landing Surveillance Camera" ("Mars Camera").

    "Don't look down upon it," said Professor Yung Kai-leung of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), who led the research.

    China's first Mars probe Tianwen-1 carrying the Zhurong rover landed on the Red Planet on May 15.

    The "Mars Camera" plays the role of an eye to monitor the landing and surrounding environment on the Mars surface.
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    "China reveals photos taken by Mars rover"

    https://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Ch...rover_999.html

    The China National Space Administration made public on Friday four pictures taken by the Tianwen 1 robotic mission, showing the Zhurong rover on Martian surface and scenes of its landing site.

    Three pictures were taken by Zhurong's cameras, and display the rover's upper stage, its landing platform as well as environment of the landing site. Another one was shot by a separate camera deployed by Zhurong on Martian soil, showing the rover and the landing platform together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "China reveals photos taken by Mars rover"

    https://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Ch...rover_999.html
    The glossy pictures were missing. Here it is.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/20210...d0bac51cc.html

    The China National Space Administration made public on Friday four pictures taken by the Tianwen 1 robotic mission, showing the Zhurong rover on the Martian surface and scenes of its landing site.

    Three pictures were taken by Zhurong's cameras, and displayed the rover's upper stage, its landing platform and the environment of the landing site. Another one was shot by a separate camera deployed by Zhurong on Martian soil, showing the rover and the landing platform together.
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    "China's Mars rover Zhurong spotted from space by NASA orbiter (photos)"

    https://www.space.com/china-mars-rov...ace-nasa-photo

    A sharp-eyed NASA spacecraft has given us a bird's-eye view of China's first Mars rover.

    The HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) snapped a shot of the Chinese rover, called Zhurong, on June 6, about three weeks after the wheeled robot touched down with its stationary lander on the vast Red Planet plain Utopia Planitia.

    "Clearly visible are what we interpret as the lander surrounded by a blast pattern, and the rover itself a bit to the south after it descended from the lander," HiRISE team members wrote in a description of the photo, which was released today (June 10).

    "This image shows the surrounding terrain to be very typical of southern Utopia Planitia, with a smooth and mostly boulder-free region," they added. "The bright curving features are aeolian (windblown) landforms."
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