China's Zhurong Mars rover in good condition, travels over 500 meters
The vast plain of Mars. /China National Space Administration

The vast plain of Mars. /China National Space Administration

China's Zhurong rover has driven for 509 meters on the surface of Mars as of 11:00 p.m. on Saturday (Beijing time), according to the China National Space Administration.

The rover is about to reach the second sand dune, where it is expected to carry out a detailed survey.

The Zhurong rover has been working on the red planet for 63 Martian days. A Martian day is roughly 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth.

The latest images sent back by the rover show its parachute and protective shell on the Martian surface.

The Tianwen-1 orbiter, which serves as a relay communication satellite, has been working in orbit for 359 days at a distance of about 375 million kilometers from Earth. The one-way communication delay is nearly 21 minutes.

The rover and the orbiter are both in good condition, with each subsystem in normal operation.

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

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