China Releases Beautiful New Photos from the Surface of Mars

Both the lander and the rover are in excellent health.
Martian Landscapes

China's Zhurong rover spent 100 Earth days exploring the deserted landscapes of Mars. China's space agency published a series of photos to celebrate this momentous occasion. They show the path that the rover has taken from May's Tianwen-1 orbiter.

These stunning red landscapes were captured by the orbiter last Tuesday, proving that China's first Mars mission is on its way.

The panorama in the middle shows the Zhurong Rover's tire tracks if you look closely.

Rover Tracks

According to state-run news agency Xinhua, both the orbiter and the rover are in good condition.



Since being released by the lander, the rover has traveled more than 1 km (1,064 m) south to study the boundary between the Utopia Planitia's southern region and what is believed be an ancient seabed and land. This vast plain is located in the planet's northern hemisphere.

According to the space agency, both the orbiter as well as the rover will experience communication problems next month. The Sun will interfere with the signal and travel between Mars and Earth.

China was the third country to softly launch a spacecraft onto Mars in May after the US, Soviet Union, and China (though this effort was very disappointing in 1971).

China is planning to launch a series of ambitious Mars missions if everything goes according to plan. According to SCMP, China hopes to collect soil samples from Mars sometime in 2030 and send astronauts there as soon as 2033.



NASA has made significant progress in studying the Red Planet from close up, landing successfully on eight occasions. China could be closing the gap with its unprecedented investment in space travel.

READ MORE: China releases Mars images to mark 100 days of red-planet exploration [South China Morning Post]

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