In News: The China National Space Administration recently revealed that its first Mars rover would be called ‘Zhurong.’
- In 2019, China became the first country to land a space probe on the moon’s far side, which had previously been unexplored, and returned lunar rocks to Earth for the first time in December.
- After the former Soviet Union and the United States, China will be the third country to land a robot rover on Mars.
- The Tianwen-1 probe, which arrived in Mars orbit in February 2020, is carrying China’s first Mars rover.
- It takes its name from a mythical fire deity.
- The rover is part of China’s space ambitions, which also include the launch of a crewed orbital station and the landing of a human on the moon.
- The name of the rover is “Huo Xing,” which means “fire star” in Chinese
- Utopia Planitia, a rock-strewn plain where the US lander Viking 2 landed in 1976, is the leading contender for the landing spot.
- Its objectives include researching the atmosphere and surface conditions on Mars, as well as analysing and mapping the Martian surface and geology.
- It takes its name from an ancient Chinese poem called “Questions to Heaven.”
- It’s a three-in-one orbiter, lander, and rover that’ll look for water and ice on Mars’ surface, explore soil properties, and research the atmosphere, among other things.
- It took off from the Wenchang launch centre on a Long March 5 rocket, a launch system developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).
- It will be the first mission to land a ground-penetrating radar on the Martian surface, allowing scientists to research local geology, as well as the distribution of rock, ice, and soil.