China’s Mars rover soldiers on after completing program

Aug 21, 2021, 2:32 AM | Updated: 2:46 am

BEIJING (AP) — China’s Zhurong Mars rover is soldiering on after completing its initial program to explore the red planet and search for frozen water that could provide clues as to whether it once supported life.

China’s National Space Administration said on its website Friday that Zhurong completed its 90-day program on Aug. 15 and was in excellent technical condition and fully charged.

It said it would continue to explore the area known as Utopia Planitia where it landed on May 14. Zhurong has been consistently sending back photos and data via the Tianwen-1 orbiter that crosses over it once a day.

After the United States, China is the second country to land and sustainably operate a spacecraft on Mars, where days are 40 minutes longer than on Earth.

At 1.85 meters (6 feet) in height, Zhurong is significantly smaller than the American Perseverance rover, which is exploring the planet with a tiny helicopter. NASA expects its rover to collect its first sample in July for return to Earth as early as 2031.

Concurrently, China is assembling its permanent space station, with three astronauts now aboard the Tianhe, or Heavenly Harmony, core that was put into orbit on April 29. Two of the astronauts completed their second space walk on Friday. All three are due to return to Earth in September and be replaced by a new crew.

China earlier launched two smaller experimental space stations. It has been excluded from the International Space Station largely at the insistence of the United States, which is wary of the Chinese space program’s secrecy and close military links. Congressional approval is also required for any cooperation between NASA and the CNSA.

China also recently brought back lunar samples, the first by any country’s space program since the 1970s, and has landed a probe and rover on the moon’s less explored far side.

China first put an astronaut into orbit in 2003, becoming just the third country to do so.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Elliot Morehead, 16 of Sioux Falls, tells a House Health and Human Services committee Tuesday, Jan....
Associated Press

S. Dakota lawmakers push bill to bar transgender youth care

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A state House committee voted Tuesday to advance a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth in South Dakota. Supporters argued a bill barring youth from accessing puberty blockers, hormones and surgery would protect adolescents from irreversible damage, while opponents argued it only blocks them from becoming their authentic […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

GM conditionally OKs $650M Nevada lithium mine investment

RENO, Nev. (AP) — General Motors Co. has conditionally agreed to invest $650 million in Lithium Americas Corp. in a deal that will give GM exclusive access to the first phase of a mine planned near the Nevada-Oregon line with the largest known source of lithium in the U.S. The equity investment the companies announced […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Travelers wade through the line to drop off bags at the Southwest Airlines check-in counter ...
Associated Press

Lawmakers aim to raise penalties for US airline disruptions

Senators who want to impose tougher penalties when U.S. airlines strand or delay passengers say they finally might be able to turn their ideas into law because of outrage over debacles like the one at Southwest Airlines in December. Democrats Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts said Tuesday they will again offer […]
16 hours ago
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives for a closed-door meeting with the Republica...
Associated Press

Biden, McCarthy, once breakfast mates, wrangle over US debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Not so long ago, Joe Biden and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy used to talk things over at breakfast in Biden’s vice presidential home at the Naval Observatory. Biden was intent in those days on “keeping up relations with the opposition party,” as he writes in his memoir, and the new House majority […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Vermont lawmakers mull bills to protect abortion providers

Vermont lawmakers are taking testimony on a pair of bills that aim to protect health care workers who provide abortions and gender-affirming health care in Vermont from legal and disciplinary action from states that limit or ban those practices. The bills were introduced seven months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Tuesday 1/31/2023

Wall Street closed out a strong January with more gains. The S&P 500 rose 1.5% Tuesday, marking its third winning month in the last four. The Dow rose 1.1% and the Nasdaq rose 1.7%. The gains came ahead of what many investors hope will be one of the Federal Reserve’s last hikes to interest rates […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
China’s Mars rover soldiers on after completing program