The China Space Administration on Friday released a 360-degree panoramic image and two color photographs of the surface of Mars and the devices of the Tianwen-1 spacecraft, which arrived on the red planet on May 15th.
The image shows the surroundings of the landing zone, a flat and rocky terrain, and was recorded by the vehicle “Zhurong” – an homage to the fire god of ancient Chinese mythology.
The nearby surface is relatively flat, with smooth, light colored stones of different sizes, scattered and half-buried. There is a hole at the bottom with darker, more angular stones in the margin”, detailed the China Space Administration in a statement.
The image also shows the descent ramp to Martian terrain and the rear of the “Zhurong” with solar panels. “The abundance and size of the stones correspond to expectations”, reads the same note.
The other photo shows the landing pad, with the “Zhurong” descent ramp and an unfurled Chinese flag.
At the end of the ramp, you can see the marks left by the vehicle on the Martian surface, which draw a circle.
In the third image, the “Zhurong” moved away from the disposable chamber, which he normally carries in the basement, and backed up a few meters.
Thus, both the vehicle and the platform can be seen, further down.
The image was transmitted wirelessly to the vehicle, which then rerouted it to Earth through the orbit module.” detailed text.
According to the Chinese agency, the orbit module is in good condition and the vehicle has been operating on the surface of Mars for 28 Martian days.
The “Zhurong” is part of the Chinese mission Tianwen-1, which departed into space in July 2020 and whose landing probe reached the planet’s surface on May 15, in the southern part of the so-called Utopia Planitia, a plain located in the hemisphere north.
Tianwen-1 is China’s first exploration mission to Mars and the first in history to combine voyage, entry into orbit and descent in a single mission.
Chinese scientists intend to find more evidence of the existence of water or ice on that planet, as well as to conduct research on the material composition of the surface of Mars or on the characteristics of the climate.