Chinese robot "Zhurong" begins exploring Mars

Chinese robot “Zhurong” begins exploring Mars

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The Chinese robot “Zorong”, which reached Mars a week ago, left its landing platform on Saturday to begin exploring the red planet. The first is for China, which has become the second country in the world to succeed in such a process, after the United States.

The remote-controlled Chinese robot “Zhurong” left its landing platform on the surface of Mars on Saturday, May 22nd. A week after he arrivedAccording to the official new China agency, to begin exploring the surface of the Red Planet.

The process of sending this robot to Mars is a precedent for the Asian country, which has become the second in the world to succeed in such an operation after the United States.

China launched in July 2020 from Earth His unmanned mission “Tianwen-1”, named after the probe that was sent into space It consists of an orbiter (orbiting Mars) and a lander on board “Zhurong” that landed last Saturday in an area of ​​the Red Planet called “Utopia Planitia”, which is a vast plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

Weighing around 240 kg, “Zhurong” – named after the god of fire in Chinese mythology – He sent his first pics on Wednesday. He should also perform soil and atmosphere analyzes and mapping the red planet.

More and more ambitious projects

“Zhurong” is equipped with solar panels to power it and it is supposed to work for three months. The rover 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 mission to Mars should also search for potential signs of a past life.

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By running its robot on Mars, China, which is investing billions of euros in its space program to catch up with Europe, Russia and the United States, is witnessing its increasingly ambitious space projects. It sent its first astronaut into space in 2003 and launched satellites for itself or on behalf of other countries.

In 2019, it landed with a device on the far side of the Moon – for the first time in the world. Last year, the samples were brought back to Earth. The Asian giant plans to assemble a large space station by 2022 and hopes to send men to the moon within ten years. The first of the three elements launched its space station in late April.

China was widely criticized by the United States and many experts for its potentially serious violation of space rules, during the uncontrolled return to Earth in early May of a major component of the Long March 5B missile that put this unit into orbit. Part finally disintegrated over the Indian Ocean Most of it was destroyed upon entering the atmosphere, according to the Chinese Space Agency.

In 2020, another debris from a long march shattered villages in Côte d’Ivoire, causing damage, but no injuries.

With Agence France-Presse

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