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1st pictures from Zhurong finally released

Zhurong's front view
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Zhurong's rear view
Click for full image.

China today finally released the first images from its Mars rover Zhurong, proving that the rover landed successfully and is operating as planned. The link takes you to the website of the Chinese space agency, in Chinese. This link provides some details in English.

The two images to the right show the front and rear views from Zhurong, sitting on top of its landing. The black & white front view shows the deployed ramps that the rover will roll down when it begins it operational phase. It shows, as expected, the generally flat terrain of the northern lowlands plains of Utopia Planitia. In the distance however there appears to be distinct features, possibly the rim of a small crater. At the moment the exact location of the rover is not known, so no precise map yet exists of its surrounding terrain. This will change in the coming days as both Chinese and American scientists hone in on the rover using orbital images.

The color rear view shows that the rover’s solar panels and high gain antenna have properly deployed. While the design of Zhurong in many ways imitates the two American rovers Spirit and Opportunity (probably because China hacked into the JPL website for several years and downloaded their blueprints), it also includes several upgrades. For example, Zhurong’s solar panels unfold, providing a significantly larger surface area to gather sunlight. Both Spirit and Opportunity were somewhat hampered by the power they could obtain by their smaller solar panels. Both also experienced times when Martian dust on the panels reduced that power. Zhurong’s much larger panels will protect it better from these issues, and could allow it to survive longer on Mars.


Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Mark

    Congrats on the landing, but as Bob points out we need to remind the world that this rover may have stolen technology in it. I recommend readers to follow Bob’s link on that issue.

  • Jeff Wright

    One of their skyscrapers is having a grand mal

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