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China released a series of scientific research results from its first exploratory mission to Mars

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Sunday released a series of scientific research results from its first exploratory mission to Mars. The Tianwen-1 orbiter has been in operation for 780 days, and the Zhurong rover traveled 1,921 meters on the red planet’s surface on Thursday, according to CNSA’s Center for Lunar Exploration and Space Program.

Both the orbiter and the rover completed targeted science survey missions and acquired 1,480 gigabytes of raw science data, the center said. Based on the data collected by Zhurong, Chinese scientists have revealed the relationship between the formation of geological formations and water activities on Mars by conducting a comprehensive study of these geological formations in the landing area.

The Chinese scientists also found hydrated minerals in the sheet rock, the “duricrust” layer, proving that there has been considerable liquid water activity in the landing area since the Amazonian epoch, which was about 1 billion years ago. The researchers also found that the Martian soil has a high bearing capacity and low friction parameters, indicating that the place where the rover landed must have experienced wind and possibly water erosion.

 These results revealed the influence of wind and water activities on Mars’ geological evolution and environmental changes, and provided support for the hypothesis that there was once an ocean in the utopian Planitia, CNSA reports. In addition, Chinese scientists obtained a number of scientific results on the relationship between the density of rocks on the surface of Mars and the degree of surface erosion, the distribution of ions and neutral particles in the near-Mars environment and the gravitational field. from Mars.

Future missions will continue to conduct remote sensing surveys and collect science data, CNSA said. The Tianwen-1 probe, consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, was launched on July 23, 2020. On May 15, 2021, it landed on a pre-selected landing pad in Utopia Planitia, a vast Martian plain, marking the first time China has landed a probe on a planet.

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