China’s 1st Mars rover Zhurong lands after experiencing ‘nine minutes of terror’

China’s 1st Mars rover Zhurong lands after experiencing ‘nine minutes of terror’ Credits: Xinhua

New Delhi: China on Saturday (May 15) announced that its Mars rover Zhurong landed on the Mars after experiencing ‘nine minutes of terror’. The rover completed the landing in the Utopia Planitia area of the red planet.

“The scientific research team confirmed via the telemetry signal sent by the “Zhu Rong” Mars rover that on May 15th, the Tianwen-1 Lander successfully landed in the pre-selected landing area in the Utopia Plain of southern Mars,” said China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The rover was part of the Tianwen-1 which consists an orbiter, a lander and a rover, was launched on July 23, 2020. NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on the red planet in February 2021 and will explore a different part of the red planet as compared to the Chinese rover.

“Each step had only one chance, and the actions were closely linked. If there had been any flaw, the landing would have failed,” said Geng Yan, an official at the Lunar Exploration and Space Programme Center of the CNSA.

Zhurong consists of six different scientific payload that will carry out different scientific experiments on the red planet.

Mars is at the forefront of international deep space exploration.

It could help humanity go deeper into space and provide first-hand data for research, such as the origin and evolution of the solar system and life, it said. Mars is also a potential target for crewed landing missions.

It can be reached using existing space capabilities, and its environment is closest to Earth in the solar system, it said.

A relatively flat region in the southern part of the Utopia Planitia was chosen for the landing and scientific research value.

With inputs from PTI

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