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China's Mars Rover Celebrates Huge Milestone With Beautiful New Pictures

In honor of its 100th day on the Red Planet, China just sent back amazing new photos of its Mars rover exploring the dry, barren surface. When it comes to space exploration right now, Mars is top of mind for many people. There are multiple robots actively exploring the planet, plans to send humans there within the next decade, and an undying fascination to find signs of ancient life. As far as planets in our Solar System are concerned, Mars is the hottest destination.

Thanks to all of that interest and exploration, there have been numerous discoveries/milestones over the past few weeks. NASA's Ingenuity helicopter continues to embark on impressive flights across the planet, new details about frozen lakes have been discovered, and countless pictures from Mars are shared for everyone on Earth to stare at in amazement. Whether it be a picture of Mars' stunning ridges or peculiar rock formations, there's always something new to see.

Related: NASA's Mars Rover Captures Breathtaking Photo Of Martian Ridge

China's Tianwen-1 orbiter is to thank for this latest round of photos. In honor of the nation's Zhurong rover completing its 100th Earth day on Mars, Tianwen-1 took pictures of it standing tall on the red, dusty surface of the planet. Zhurong can be seen next to its landing platform in the picture above, as can all of the rocks and debris cluttering the ground below it. Not only is it impressive to see the rover standing against the orange Mars sky like this, but it's yet another reminder of how different Mars really is from Earth.

Throughout the 100 Earth days it's been on Mars, Zhurong has accomplished quite a lot. The latest data confirms it's traveled 1,064 meters across the surface, is still operating in "normal condition," and has sent over 10GB of valuable data back to Earth. Per Zhang Rongqiao, the chief designer of the mission, "The data is available for the scientists to request for use. From data about the Martian underground structure to those about Martian weather, we expect authentic discoveries from our first-hand source material."

Following recent success with the Tianwen-1 orbiter that's also on the planet, China has tasked the Zhurong rover with more missions than originally planned. Its latest goal is to travel to Utopia Planitia — a coastal area on Mars that houses the largest known impact basin in the entire Solar System. It remains to be seen what's discovered there, but it's an exciting journey nonetheless. At the very least, it'll result in more amazing photos to showcase just how fascinating Mars truly is.

Next: Japan Is Going To Mars' Most Famous Moon, And Bringing Stuff Back

Source: CGTN

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