China's Zhurong Mars rover has produced a panorama of its surroundings in the Utopia Planitia in celebration of its 100 days of activity on the Red Planet.
The Zhurong Mars rover and its orbiter companion, the Tianwen-1 are scheduled to go on safe mode this fall due to what is known as solar conjunction. This solar conjunction will prevent communications from taking place between Mars and Earth.
Both the Zhurong Mars rover and the Tianwen-1 orbiter first landed on Mars back in May. The landing was successful, despite the Mars rover sustaining a hole during landing.
China's Zhurong Mars Rover Produces Panorama of Utopia Planitia
China's Zhurong Mars rover has produced a panorama of its surroundings in the Utopia Planitia ahead of its scheduled shift to safe mode this fall.
According to a report by Space, the Zhurong Mars rover used its panoramic camera to capture its surroundings. The resulting panorama shows the rover itself, along with its solar arrays and antenna close to a dune.
The back shell of the Zhurong is also seen on the horizon. Last July, it was reported that the Mars rover visited its discarded backshell and parachute for the first time.
Zhurong Mars Rover, Tianwen-1 Orbiter to go on Safe Mode
Both the Zhurong Mars rover and its orbiter companion, the Tianwen-1, are scheduled to go on the safe mode from mid-September to early October. The upcoming switch to safe mode is because of what is known as solar conjunction.
According to the Space report, this is due to the fact that the "sun's charged particles interfere with their communication with Earth."
Specifically, "the sun and the charged particles it releases will obscure our view of Mars from Earth and interfere with radio communications between the two planets."
During the time both spacecraft are in safe mode, both will perform health assessments, troubleshooting, and self-monitoring.
Zhurong's 100 Days of Activity on Mars So Far
The panorama of the Utopia Planitia was taken by the Zhurong Mars rover in celebration of its 100 days of activity on the planet.
Per the report by Space, the Zhurong Mars rover "has covered 3,491 feet (1,064 meters) since rolling onto the Martian surface on May 22." The Zhurong Mars rover first landed on the Red Planet a week prior.
Due to its successful landing, China became the second country to land and operate a robot on Mars. The first one to do so was the United States. However, the Zhurong Mars rover sustained a hole during its successful landing.
A new study has since been published on the geological characteristics of the area where the Zhurong Mars rover landed. The paper notes that the Mars rover has reported back the presence of pitted cones south of its position.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Isabella James