Tianwen-1 sent back high-resolution images of the Mars inspection area

According to the National Astronomical Observatory and the National Space Administration. The "Tianwen-1" orbiter passed over the inspection area of ​​the Mars rover again a few days ago and took a 0.5-meter resolution image of the "Zhurong" inspection area.

As of March 24, 2022, the "Zhurong" rover has been working on the surface of Mars for 306 Martian days, driving a total of 1,784 meters. The "Tianwen-1" orbiter has been in orbit for 609 days and is 277 million kilometers away from the earth. Both are operating normally.

At present, the northern hemisphere of Mars has begun to enter autumn. According to the analysis of previous detection data, autumn is the season of the frequent occurrence of dusty weather on Mars. At present, no obvious dusty weather has been observed in the inspection area of ​​"Zhurong".

Figure 1: The high-resolution camera captured the image of the inspection area of ​​"Zhurong"

The official also pointed out that from the returned selfies, it can be found that a thin layer of sand and dust has accumulated on the surface of the "Zhurong" Mars rover compared with the photos taken just after landing. At the same time, according to the telemetry information of the rover, the power generation efficiency of the solar wing is affected to a certain extent, but the energy is still sufficient.

It is worth mentioning that in order to cope with the dust cover, the solar wing of my country's "Zhurong" Mars rover was specially designed during development, and various measures can be taken to deal with the problem of the reduction of power generation efficiency caused by the dust, but there is no need to use it at present. , the current energy state is sufficient to support the rover to continue driving and carry out exploration.

Comparison of the images of the Mars rover taken by the navigation terrain camera in different periods

(a) Taken on May 19, 2021 (the 5th Martian day after landing), the surface of the rover is not covered by sand and dust
(b) Taken on January 22, 2022 (the 247th Martian day after landing), there is obvious dust coverage on the surface of the rover
It can be seen from the figure below that local dust storms occurred in some areas of Mars in February this year, and typical features were covered by a large amount of sand and dust, making it difficult to distinguish.

Comparison of wind and sand activities in high latitude regions of the northern hemisphere captured by medium-resolution cameras

(a) Taken on January 22, 2022, at the center of the image (30.7°E, 74.0°N)

(b) Taken on February 10, 2022, At the center of the image (37.8° east longitude, 72.9° north latitude), there was a local sandstorm, and the ground objects were difficult to distinguish

High-resolution images of the "Zhurong" landing inspection area

(a) Taken on March 24, 2021, at the center of the image (110.2°E, 24.6°N)

(b) Taken on January 30, 2022, at the center of the image (107.4° east longitude, 24.4° north latitude)

The scientific goals of my country's Tianwen-1 mission are to study the morphology and geological structure of Mars, the characteristics of soil and water ice distribution on the surface of Mars, the composition of materials on the surface of Mars, the ionosphere of the Martian atmosphere, and the characteristics of the surface climate and environment, Mars physical field and internal structure, etc.

Since the launch of the Mars rover on July 23, 2020, during the ground fire transfer flight and the orbital operation of the ring fire, the orbiter is equipped with 7 medium-resolution cameras, high-resolution cameras, mineral spectrum analyzers, magnetometers, etc. The scientific payloads have been turned on and probed one after another to obtain scientific data.

During the fire surface work, the staff will carry out environmental perception, fire surface movement, and scientific detection in the inspection area as planned. Carry out detailed exploration. At the same time, the orbiter will run in a relay orbit to provide stable relay communication for the Mars rover inspection and detection, and to carry out orbital detection.

The official also stated that the "Tianwen-1" orbiter continued to carry out global remote sensing exploration of Mars, and focused on typical landforms and geological units such as craters, volcanoes, canyons, and dry riverbeds to obtain high-resolution images.

It is worth mentioning that on March 7 this year, when imaging the "Jezero" crater, it also photographed the American "Perseverance" rover, which is currently located about 200 meters southeast of its landing site.

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