The whole world was waiting to see the next milestone in human history regarding the new space race. As per the predicted timing on 14th may 2021 the lander(containing Zhurong Rover) of Tianwen-1 successfully landed in the selected area of the Martian surface. The landing area situated in the southern part of mars i.e “Utopia Planitia”.
Which countries have landed on Mars?
China became the second country that successfully landed its rover on Mars after the American space agency NASA. In 1971 Soviet Union (now Russia) launched two spacecraft named “Mars 2” and “Mars 3”. March 3 launched nine days after March 2 but unfortunately, Mars 2 lander crashed on the Martian surface and Mars 3 lander had a soft landing but due to some technical reasons, it also stopped working after 110 seconds of landing. Hence China stands in 2nd position for landing rover on Mars.
The Zhurong Rover named after the God of “fire and light” according to Chinese mythology. In 2020 the CNSA (China National Space Administration) officially named a series of interplanetary missions as “Tianwen series”. The name Tianwen means “question to the Haven”, and taken from the ancient Chinese poem. “Tianwen 1” is the first mission of this series.
The Tianwen 1 launched on 27 July 2020 from the wenchang launch site in china. The long March 5 used as a rocket in this mission. This mission includes three important devices orbiter, Lander, and Rover.
China established its all better in the Mars orbit on 10th February 2021. After which the orbiter circled the planet for more than three months in search of perfect timing. When the lander entered the Mars atmosphere after separating from the Orbiter it opened its parachute and softly landed on the surface after “9 minut of terror”
According to CNSA, ” The lander having Zhurong rover touched the surface at its pre-chosen landing site on 7:18 AM (BEJING TIME). It took more than an hour to establish a connection with Roven because they had to wait for the Rover to automatically unfold its solar panel and antenna to send the signals.
Instruments on Zhurong
- Surface Penetrating Radar (SPR):- The main aim of SPR is to determine the thickness of the upper Martian soil, collect data about the dry ice(Frozen Co2) located permanently on the two polar ice caps of Mars.
- Mars Surface Magnetic Field Detector (MSMFD):- It is a high-tech Magnetometer installed on the top of the rover. It will study the mars magnetic field and identify the magnetic index.
- Mars Meteorological Measurement Instrument (MMMI): It is like a small weather station on a rover deck. It will collect data about the varying pressure, wind speed, temperature along with the sound on the surface of Mars.
- Multi-Spectrum Camera (MSC)Navigation and Topography Camera (NTC): It used to capture 360-degree photos on mars. These cameras act as the eyes of the Rover.
- Mars Surface Compound Detector (MSCD):- It is a multitasking instrument capable of performing ShortWave-InfraRed (SWIR) reflectance spectroscopy as well as Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) on surface targets up to 7m. After analyzing the data collected by MSCD will able to understand the chemical composition of Martian rock. ex:- % of carbon, oxygen, Hydrogen, sulphur and so on.
Zhurong Rover will help us to reveal the unknown information of the Mars surface. It might found some traces of fossil microorganisms or Alien’s presence. I appreciate the peoples who made this mission possible.