This story is part of, our series exploring the red planet.
It’s a rover festival on Mars. Curiosity and perseverance share the planet with China’s Zhurong rover, which a NASA spacecraft in orbit around the red planet spotted on the Martian surface on June 6.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has already captured notableother But this is your first look at Zhurong, part of the Tianwen-1 mission of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). Tianwen-1 consists of an orbiter, a lander, and the rover.
“Clearly visible is what we interpret as the lander surrounded by an explosion pattern, and the rover itself a bit to the south after it descended from the lander.” said the MRO HiRise camera team at the University of Arizona in a statement Thursday.
, making China the second country to operate a rover on Mars. The MRO image matches well with a earlier this week.
The rover is located in a region of the plains of Mars. “This image shows that the surrounding terrain is very typical of southern Utopia Planitia, with a smooth and mostly rock-free region,” the HiRise team said. “The bright curved features are aeolian (windblown) landforms.”
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China has released few images of the Tianwen-1 mission overall, in contrast to NASA’s constant feed of Mars images available to the public. However, we have seen some snapshots from the surface, includinglater if it descended from the lander in May.
The lack of images can be frustrating for space fans, which is why NASA’s take on Zhurong’s adventures on the red planet is a welcome addition to Tianwen-1’s meager photo collection.
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