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Current Affairs

Zhurong rover

Date: 19 May 2021 Tags: Space


The Tianwen-1 aircraft of China has successfully landed on the Mars, becoming only the second nation to achieve their feat.



The Tianwen-1 consists of Zhurong rover, which will explore the red planet for signs of life and study its geology.



  • The location for the landing of the Chinese aircraft was a large plain located in Mars’ northern hemisphere called the Utopia Planitia.

  • With the soft landing on Mars’ surface, China forms an elite group with the USA that have been able to land on Mars’ surface.


China’s Mars mission

  • The Tianwen-1 mission was launched in July 2020. It consists of an orbiter, lander and a small sized rover called Zhurong.

  • The Tianwen-1 mission was part of series of missions by various countries that had planned to make use of the short window when Mars and Earth are closest.

  • The orbiter mission will be continuing for a long time whereas the Zhurong mission will be available for about 90 days.


The Zhurong rover

  • The lander will take pictures of the surrounding areas and later will chose the safest spot for putting the rover down. The aim would be to select a spot will no boulders or craters.

  • The rover is heavier than Spirit and Opportunity rovers but only a third of the weight of Perseverance and Curiosity rovers.

  • Instruments aboard the rover include cameras, a magnetic field detector, ground-penetrating radar and a weather station. It will have solar panels for energy.


Mars rover missions

Apart from China, only US has been able to land on Mars’ surface. The Soviet managed to send a rover to Mars but failed to establish connection after landing.