The new colonial movement: According to China’s state-run press, the Zhurong rover has successfully rolled off its lander and reached the Martian surface.
The image to the right was taken by the rover’s rear hazard avoidance camera, and shows the lander and the deployment ramps behind Zhurong.
At this moment China has released no other images of the Martian surface, nor have they revealed if they have a precise idea of where the lander actually put down on Mars. This latter information is essential for them to plan the rover’s travels over its 90-day nominal mission.
Nonetheless, it appears Zhurong is functioning perfectly. If all goes right, it will not only complete that 90-day mission but continue on for considerably longer, as have other similar small rovers on both Mars and the Moon.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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