The Chinese rover has found traces of the impact of water on the surface of the Red Planet, TASS and BTA report, citing the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
The discovery, announced in a report on the work of the Tianwen-1 orbiter and the Zhuzhong rover, testifies that there was once an ocean there.
“The Chinese researchers comprehensively studied the typical landforms in the landing area, including concave cones, impact craters and furrows, and found a significant connection between the formation of the ridge and water activity“, said the report presented by the Xinhua news agency.
Using camera images and spectral data, the researchers found water-bearing minerals in rocks near the landing site—evidence that more a billion years ago there was an abundance of liquid water in the areathe report further states.
The new results testify to the influence of wind and water on the geological evolution and changes in the Martian environment. “This strongly supports the hypothesis that the Martian plain of Utopia once harbored an ocean“, the report claims.
The Tianwen-1 orbiter has been operating for more than 780 days, and the Zhuzhong rover has traveled 1,921 meters on the surface of Mars, according to the China National Space Administration.
The Tianwen-1 probe landed on May 15, 2021 at a pre-selected site on the vast Martian plain of Utopia.