Martian Rover Takes First Drive On Surface Of Red Planet — China

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A Martian rover took its first drive on the surface of the Red Planet, according to China.

MARTIAN ROVER — On Saturday, a Chinese Martian rover drove down the ramp of a landing capsule and onto the surface of the Red Planet, making China the first nation to orbit, to land, and to deploy a vehicle on its inaugural mission to Mars.

A Martian rover took its first drive on the surface of the Red Planet, according to China.
Photo source: Reuters

According to a post on the rover’s official Chinese social media account, Zhurong — a Martian rover named after a mythical Chinese god of fire — drove down to the surface of Mars at 10:40 a.m. (Beijing time).

Reuters reported that China joined the United States as the only nation to deploy land vehicles on Mars. In 1971, the former Soviet Union landed a craft but it lost communication seconds later.

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Having six scientific instruments including a high-resolution topography camera, the 240-kg Zhurong will study the Red Planet’s surface soil and atmosphere.

Powered by solar energy, Zhurong will look for signs of ancient life — including any subsurface water and ice — using a ground-penetrating radar during its 90-day exploration of the Martian surface.

Zhurong and Perseverance were among three robotic rovers operating on Mars. The third rover was NASA’s Curiosity, which landed last 2012.

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