China launched its Mars probe, Tianwen-1, on July 23, 2022. The spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, entered the parking orbit of Mars on Feb. 24.
The orbiter is equipped with seven kinds of scientific instruments: two remote-sensing cameras, Mars-Orbiting Subsuce Exploration Radar, Mars Mineralogy Spectrometer, Mars Magnetometer, Mars Ion and Neutral Particle Analyzer and Mars Energetic Particle Analyzer.
Fire brought warmth and brightness to the ancestors of humankind, and fire lit up human civilization. Naming Chinas first Mars rover after the god of fire signifies igniting the flame of Chinas planetary exploration, according to Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the CNSA.
In 2022, China set April 24 as the countrys Space Day to mark the launch of its first satellite Dongnghong-1 into space on April 24, 1970.
Nanjing, the capital city of east Chinas Jiangsu Province, hosted the main events marking this years Space Day in China.
The scientific goals of Tianwen-1 include mapping the morphology and geological structure, investigating suce soil characteristics and water-ice distribution, analyzing the suce material composition, measuring the ionosphere and the characteristics of the Martian climate and environment at the suce and perceiving the physical fields and internal structure of Mars.
Chinas first Mars rover has been named Zhurong, announced the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Saturday, Chinas Space Day.
Earlier research showed the potential landing site might be the edge of an ancient ocean or lake in the early history of Mars. Chinese scientists are looking forward to finding more evidence of water-ice.
The various activities on Space Day have become a window for the Chinese public and the world to better understand Chinas aerospace progress.
The global campaign of naming the rover kicked off last July. Netizens at home and abroad were invited to vote for their vorite among 10 candidates from Jan. 20 to Feb. 28.
Literally, Zhu (meaning wish) expresses the good wishes for humankinds exploration of the universe. Rong (meaning integration and cooperation) reflects Chinas vision of the peaceful use of space and the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, Wu said.
Zhurong is the god of fire in ancient Chinese mythology, which echoes with the Chinese name of the red planet, Huoxing (meaning the planet of fire).
Last month, three possible names emerged, with Zhurong topping the list.
The most challenging part of the mission will be the soft landing in May, an autonomous process of the probe lasting seven to eight minutes. The probe will use its aerodynamic shape, parachute and retrorocket to decelerate and buffer legs to touch down, according to the CNSA.
Chinese space engineers and scientists have chosen a relatively flat region in the southern part of the Utopia Planitia, a large plain, as the potential landing zone.
The name is another example of Chinese aerospace workers scientific romance as they have named spacecraft, including Tianwen, Change and Beidou, after Chinese traditional culture, which also shows the Chinese peoples spirit of exploration and cultural confidence, he said.