By - James Smith
Zhurong is China’s first Mars rover and landed on the Red Planet on May 14, 2021
The rover is named after the god of fire in Chinese mythology
Zhurong is equipped with six scientific instruments, including a ground-penetrating radar system, a multispectral camera, and a magnetic field detector
The rover is designed to operate for at least 90 Martian days (or sols), which is equivalent to about 93 Earth days
The polygonal wedges detected by Zhurong are located some 35 feet below the surface of Mars and are likely formed by ice
The polygons are similar to the “patterned ground” phenomenon found on Earth and could provide more evidence that Mars used to be home to abundant water and life .
The rover has found a total of 16 such wedges in an area of about three-quarters of a square mile .
The subterranean polygons are believed to be remnants of an ancient Martian glacier that has since disappeared.
The discovery of these polygons could help scientists better understand the history of Mars and its potential for harbouring life
Zhurong’s mission is part of China’s ambitious space program, which aims to establish a crewed space station and eventually send humans to the Moon and Mars