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  • 30 September, 2022

  • 4 Min Read

Chinese Rover ‘ Zhurong” on Mars

Chinese Rover ‘ Zhurong” on Mars

  • By studying underground layers, China's Zhurong rover, which landed on Mars in 2021, discovered evidence of major floods that occurred billions of years ago.
  • The rover investigated its landing site, Utopia Planitia, which is a vast plain in Mars' northern hemisphere.
  • These are the first radar imager results from the rover. The radar's radio waves bounce off underground materials, revealing their grain size and ability to hold an electric charge. Larger objects are usually indicated by stronger signals.

What exactly is Zhurong Rover?

  • Zhurong, named after a Chinese mythical fire god, will be carried to Mars by China's Tianwen-1 spacecraft in 2021.
  • During the mission, Zhurong will investigate the massive Utopia Planitia basin on Mars' northern hemisphere, which was most likely formed by an impact early in the planet's history.
  • The 'Zhurong' rover weighs about 240 kilogrammes, which is slightly heavier than NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers but only one-fourth the weight of Perseverance and Curiosity (NASA).
  • It is equipped with seven primary instruments, including cameras, ground-penetrating radar, a magnetic field detector, and a weather station, and is powered by retractable solar panels.
  • The radar is used to search for ancient life as well as subsurface water.

What are the Results found?

  • The radar detected two horizontal layers with interesting patterns, but no evidence of liquid water down to 80 metres.
  • The reflection signals became stronger with increasing depth in a layer between 10 and 30 metres deep.
  • A similar pattern was seen in an older, thicker layer between 30 and 80 metres down.
  • The older layers (30 and 80 metres) are most likely the result of rapid flooding that transported sediments to the region more than three billion years ago, when Mars was teeming with water.
  • The upper layer (between 10 and 30 metres deep) could have been formed by another flood 1.6 billion years ago, during a period of intense glacial activity.
  • Radar data is insufficient to determine whether the underground materials were sediments or volcanic remnants.

What Are the Important Mars Facts?

  • It is the fourth planet from the Sun and the Solar System's second-smallest planet.
  • Mars is approximately half the size of Earth.
  • Earth-like characteristics (orbit and rotation):
  • Mars orbits the Sun once every 24.6 hours, which is roughly equivalent to one day on Earth (23.9 hours).
  • Mars' rotation axis is 25 degrees tilted with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun. This is comparable to Earth's axial tilt of 23.4 degrees.
  • Mars has distinct seasons, just like Earth, but they last longer.
  • Sols are Martian days that are short for 'solar day.'

Read Also: China’s Space Missions

Source: The Indian express

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