The huge hole that the China Rover "Zhurong" bore in Mars after its successful landing hints an alarming safety issue that enormous landers should watch out for. On June 12, a scientist warned that due to the soft composition of the red planet, catastrophic events could occur.

NASA Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars
(Photo : by NASA via Getty Images)
JEZERO CRATER, MARS - FEBRUARY 18: In this handout image provided by NASA, the first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover after its landing in the area known as Jezero crater on February 18, 2021 on the planet Mars. A key objective for Perseverance's mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet's geology and past climate, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith.

The warning comes after the state media of China released new photographs of the Chinese Rover Zhurong on Mars on June 11. It even includes a selfie of the spacecraft that looks like a bird flapping its wings.

BBC and most news outlets noticed the scenery wherein the rover flaunted a large flag of China as it stands proudly.

China Rover 'Zhurong' Hole

On the other hand, Jonathan O' Callaghan, a space journalist, noticed something beyond what other people have talked about, Futurism reported.


The post had a photo attached to it that focused on the crater-like hole that the Zhurong produced below it as it stands firm on the ground of the red planet.

A Twitter user replied that the hole is either a crater or "a very angry Martian coming out of its burrow to see what all the fuss is about."

Meanwhile, the crater caught the attention of Phil Metzger, a scientist at the University of Central Florida. He noticed the risk that could birth from it. At the same time, he was astonished at the size of the hole.

Safety Issue for Big Landers

Metzger believes that the crater hints at a problem that could arise  from the soil composition of Mars. He said that the unpopular hole is caused by the bonding of the soil. 

He further illustrated how a heavy and big lander will find itself in danger as it lands on top of the red planet. Metzger noted that a 40-ton lander, given its weight, could possibly destroy the soil below it.

In turn, the rover could be found crushed deeply in the deep soil it digged itself. 

The planetary scientist cleared out that the slump will occur after a few weeks as the crater-like hole faces dehydration. As such, the soil above the legs of the rover could disintegrate and lead to it being sucked down below.

Read Also: NASA Ingenuity, Perseverance to Look for 'Ancient Life' on Mars, After Moving on to a New Landing Site 

Working on Solution

According to Interesting Engineering, Masten Space Systems, an aerospace manufacturer, together with the University of Central Florida, is thinking of a solution to refrain rockets from punching a huge crater.

When the results from the study are in, future explorations in Mars could face more assurance in landing safely.

Related Article: NASA Photos Show 'Mushroom' Fungus Growing on Rocks in the Red Planet-Is There Life on Mars?

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Written by Teejay Boris

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