China’s first Mars orbiter keeps tabs on multiple robots on the Red Planet’s surface. The Tianwen 1 orbiter captured photos of the Zhurong rover, its partner on the Tianwen 1 Mars mission, and NASA’s Perseverance rover as the two-wheeled robots explored their surroundings.
Tianwen 1 imaged Perseverance on March 7, when the car-sized NASA rover was about200 meters southeast of its landing site. The state-owned broadcaster included that shot in a new 2-minute video highlighting some of the best recent imagery by the Tianwen 1 mission. The video stitches together photos that the China National Space Administration released on Thursday.
Zhurong and the Tianwen 1 orbiter launched together in July 2020 and arrived at Mars in February 2021. Zhurong stayed attached to the orbiter until May when it separated to perform its historic touchdown, China’s first-ever on the Red Planet. Zhurong has traveled 1.11 miles (1.78 kilometers) on the Martian surface. The broadcaster added that both it and the Tianwen 1 orbiter are healthy and operating normally.