China's Mars rover travels over 509 metres on red planet

BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua): China's Mars rover Zhurong has travelled more than 509 metres on the surface of the red planet as of 11pm on Saturday (July 17), according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Programme Centre of the China National Space Administration.

The rover will soon arrive at the second sand dune on its journey on the red planet.

It will carry out a detailed survey of the dune and surrounding environment, said the administration.

As of Saturday, Zhurong has been operating on the surface of Mars for 63 Martian days. A Martian day is approximately 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth.

China's Tianwen-1 spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, was launched on July 23, 2020. The lander carrying the rover touched down in the southern part of Utopia Planitia, a vast plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars, on May 15.

About 375 million km away from Earth, the orbiter of Tianwen-1 has operated in orbit for 359 days as of Saturday. The delay of its one-way communication was around 21 minutes.

Both the Mars rover Zhurong and Tianwen-1 spacecraft are working in normal conditions, with their subsystems operating normally, according to the administration. - Xinhua

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