Zhurong – UPSC Prelims

  • Zhurong is China’s first Mars rover mission.
  • The rover is aboard the Tianwen-1 space probe.
  • Launched in: The rover was launched in the Mars orbit in February 2021.
  • Named after: The rover is named after a traditional fire god. The rover’s title also fits with the Chinese name for Mars i.e. “Huo Xing” or fire star.
  • Purpose: Zhurong carries multispectral cameras and instruments to analyze the composition of the rocks. It will also investigate subsurface characteristics with ground-penetrating radar.
  • Landing Site: Landing site is located in Utopia Planitia. It is the largest recognized impact basin on Mars.
  • Significance:
    • China became the third nation to achieve a successful soft landing on Mars after the Soviet Union and the United States.
    • China becomes the only second country after the US to send a rover to the surface of Mars.
    • China has also become the 1st country to carry out an orbiting, landing, and roving operation during its first mission to Mars.
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