Despite more than 48 hours having passed since China announced the successful landing of its Zhurong rover on Mars in the northern lowland plain of Utopia Planitia, no images or data of any kind has been released by that nation or its space agency.
It is very possible that this is totally expected, since they have always said they will need about a week of checkouts before they rollled the rover off the lander and begin its operations.
At the same time, China has been very very creative with providing early images for all its planetary missions. For example, within hours of landing they had released images from their Chang’e-5 lunar sample return lander. Similarly, only hours after Chang’e-4 landed on the far side of the Moon with its Yutu-2 rover China released images.
They did the exact same thing when Chang’e-3 landed in 2013 with its Yutu-1 rover.
I can’t imagine they don’t have some cameras on the Mars lander to snap pictures of the horizon or the ground directly below. They might not, but if so the lack would be truly astonishing.
It is also possible China is holding the data close for any number of political reasons, though this doesn’t make much sense since the whole political point of these planetary missions is to sell China to the world.
The more time that passes with no confirmation data, the more it will appear that something is wrong. If this conclusion is incorrect, China needs to act now to dispel these doubts.
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