This story is part of , our series exploring the red planet.
I’m not saying we should have beauty contests for Mars rovers, but I am saying NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, but you can appreciate the plucky little rover’s efforts since it landed on the red planet in May of last year.. You can’t see any up-close details of the solar-powered vehicle in a new image from
On Friday, the MRO HiRise camera team shared a snapshot of the rover from orbit from March 11. Zhurong is part of the China National Space Administration’s Tianwen-1 mission, which also includes a lander and an .
The rover appears as a tiny, almost bluish object against the Mars landscape in Utopia Planitia, a large plains area. The machine is smaller than NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers, but theon Mars. The camera captured Zhurong’s wheel tracks, which can be seen as dark parallel lines winding across the dusty ground. Find the rover and then trace the tracks up and toward the left.
The HiRise team also delivered a wider view that shows the rover’s journey from its landing site to where it is now, complete with arrows pointing out the tracks along the way. It’s covered about 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) of ground since its arrival.
Zhurong handily outlasted its original three-month mission and is on an extended expedition. It represents a significant milestone in planetary exploration for China. The more Mars rovers, the merrier.