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China lands Rover on Mars to look for water, life

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At Utopia Planitia:

Once Zhurong’s six wheels roll off the landing platform and onto the Martian dust, the rover will expand its foldable, butterfly-like solar panels and explore the area for a primary mission lasting three months. The vehicle could work well beyond this conservative goal however—the solar-powered Spirit and Opportunity rovers had primary missions of about 90 days, and they each ended up exploring Mars for years.

Utopia Planitia, thought to be the site of an ancient sea, has sedimentary layers that could contain evidence of past water. Even more exciting, these layers of rock could contain traces of any past life on Mars, says James Head III, a planetary scientist at Brown University.

“Because the pre-selected landing site is close to an ancient ocean shoreline, and distinct from others, the science data will uncover more secrets of Mars,” Long says. The site complements the research being carried out by NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers in the ancient lakes of Gale and Jezero craters, respectively, Head adds.

Andrew Jones, “China’s Mars rover touches down on the red planet” at National Geographic
in regards to China's technological achievements, here is an interesting TED lecture: "Is war between China and the US inevitable? " "Taking lessons from a historical pattern called "Thucydides's Trap," political scientist Graham Allison shows why a rising China and a dominant United States could be headed towards a violent collision no one wants -- and how we can summon the common sense and courage to avoid it." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XewnyUJgyA4 martin_r
Learning more about Mars is important to getting there, but it should have nothing to do with searching out life. A lot of assumptions are made about things we do not have the technology to know one way or the other. Plenty of things in space and on Earth that will send us back to the dark ages. Colonization of the moon, Mars, clouds of Venus should all have been started by now. BobRyan
Neat! One article mentions that the rover includes a spectroscope to analyze the samples it digs up, which is the crucial instrument for sniffing out life. polistra

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