NASA: The Chinese rover Zhurong, which landed on the surface of Mars last May 14, had images taken by a NASA spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet. One of the photos, released this Thursday (10), reveals a panoramic view of the equipment in the region of Utopia Planitia.
Captured on Sunday (06), the photograph was taken by the HiRISE high-resolution camera, capable of recording table-sized objects on Martian soil, even hundreds of kilometers away in the planet’s orbit. It works in conjunction with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), launched in 2005.
The University of Arizona in the United States, responsible for operating the MRO camera, described what the photo shows. “What we interpret as the probe surrounded by an explosion pattern and the rover itself a little to the south after it descended from the landing module are clearly visible,” the team said.
In the photo of the Chinese rover on Mars, it is also possible to see terrain “typical of Utopia Planitia, a smooth region with almost no rocks”, according to the university’s experts. Also according to the equipment’s operators, the shiny curves that appear in the register, drawing attention, are forms of wind relief.
A member of the Tianwen-1 mission, the Zhurong rover will travel around the region where it landed to study the geology of the site, looking for signs of ice and also monitoring the climate. Powered by solar energy, it has high-resolution cameras and should work for at least three months.
Meanwhile, the orbiter, which bears the same name as the Chinese expedition to Mars, is responsible for conducting other types of research, mainly related to the composition of the Red Planet’s soil. In this case, the mission will have a minimum duration of 687 Earth days, the equivalent of a Martian year.