China successfully lands its robot Zhurong on Mars

China successfully lands its robot Zhurong on Mars

This is the first for China. The Tianwen-1 landing craft, on Saturday May 15th, successfully landed at a Preset Zone On Mars with the remote-controlled robot Zhurong, state-run CCTV broadcasts a special issue, adding that ” Signal “ on the earth. The landing took place in a region of the Red Planet called “Utopia Planitia”, which is a vast plain located in the northern half of Mars.

Landing on the Red Planet is particularly complex, and several European, Soviet and American missions have failed in the past. China actually tried to ship a probe to Mars in 2011, during a joint mission with Russia. But the attempt collapsed, and Beijing then decided to continue the adventure alone. This is their first independent attempt by the Chinese.

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“Zhurong” has been running for three months

The Chinese launched their unmanned mission Tianwen-1 from Earth at the end of July 2020, named after the probe that was sent into space. This consists of three components: an orbiter (orbiting the star), a lander (landing on Mars) and aboard a remotely controlled robot, Zhurong.

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In February, China had already successfully placed the Tianwen-1 probe In the orbit of Mars and taking pictures of the red planet. Early on Saturday, this time it managed to land on Mars, which would then allow the remote-controlled robot, Zhurong, to get off. Conducting these three operations during an inaugural mission to Mars is the first of its kind in the world.

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Weighing more than 200kg and equipped with 4 solar panels to supply power, Zhurong is supposed to work for three months. It is also equipped with cameras, radar and lasers, which will allow it in particular to study its environment and analyze the composition of Mars rocks.

The name “Zhurong” was chosen after an online survey and refers to the god of fire in Chinese mythology. Symbolism justified by the Chinese name for Mars: “Hwoxing”, Literally “Fiery planet”.

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The World with Agence France-Presse

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