Zhurong Finds its Own Parachute on the Surface of Mars

As of July 23, 2021, China’s Mars rover Zhurong has traveled 585 meters across the surface of Mars. And along the way, it’s taking pictures of interesting sights.

Some of the most intriguing recent images from the rover show debris from the rover’s landing. During its drives, the rover came upon the parachute and backshell. The China National Space Administration says as the rover drove south of its landing site, it first “saw” the debris on the horizon with its front obstacle avoidance camera, and then took a closer image (lead image) with its navigation terrain camera.

CNSA said the rover was about 30 meters away from the parachute and backshell assembly in this image, and about 350 meters away from the landing site.

Zhruong’s front obstacle avoidance camera took this image of the backshell in the distance. Credit: CNSA.

July 23 marked the first anniversary of the launch of the Tianwen-1 and Zhurong rover mission. The lander carrying the rover touched down on Mars on May 15 of this year, landing in the southern part of Utopia Planitia, a vast plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

Here are more images from Zhurong:

 Image from the rear obstacle avoidance camera looking back at the rover’s path past the backshell and parachute. Credit: CNSA
Martian rock surfaces covered with dust. (CNSA/via Xinhua)
This image shows wheel tracks from the rover, along with Martian rocks soil. Credit: CNSA/via Xinhua)

Sources: CNSA, Xinhua