Zhurong Rover Sends a Weibo Chat Message, ‘Nihao’ from Mars
May 15, 2021 (EIRNS)—Hello friends of the Earth: I am the Mars Rover Zhurong. Today, I took the “lander” to reach the surface of Mars. The landing site was in the preselected area of the southern Utopia Plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars. At this moment, everyone has been waiting for a long time!
At 1 o’clock in the morning today, the Tianwen-1 probe was de-orbited in its parked orbit and maneuvered until Mars entered orbit. At 4 o’clock, the landing patrol and the orbiter separated. After about 3 hours of flight, it entered the Martian atmosphere. After about 9 minutes of deceleration, hovering, obstacle avoidance, and buffering, it successfully soft-landed at 7:18 this morning in the pre-selected landing area. About 30 minutes after the two devices were separated, the orbiter ascended and returned to the parking orbit to provide relay communication for the landing patrol device.
At present, only 9 of the 21 Mars landing missions that have been carried out in the world have been successful, and the difficulty factor is extremely high! For a safe landing on Mars, in addition to choosing a landing area with a flat terrain, you must also choose appropriate weather conditions to avoid being disturbed by the huge dust storms on Mars. After flying around Mars for more than three months, I finally found the best landing spot. Geologists said that my soft landing area is likely to be an ancient ocean site, with high scientific value, and it is likely to achieve unexpected scientific results. But how to minimize the impact of Martian dust storms? Of course, I can’t afford it, but I can hide! According to past Martian weather data, Martian dust activities are concentrated in the second half of the year. The northern hemisphere is the quietest during spring and summer. It was safest for me to choose to land in mid-May!
At present, I am still in the landing patrol device, carrying six scientific payloads including terrain camera, multispectral camera, subsurface detection radar, and magnetic field detector. After a short adjustment, I will leave the warehouse and conduct inspections. Looking forward to understanding Mars in all directions, and returning precious data and photos to everyone!
Love you all, Zhurong!