China’s Mars rover has amassed reams of novel geological data

More than 30 scientists across mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau are rushing to process data collected by China’s Mars rover, Zhurong, and by the nation’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft, which is in orbit around the planet. Several studies have trickled out, but researchers say that more are coming in the next weeks and months, offering insights on the climate, geology and history of Mars’s northern hemisphere.

Since September, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), which has been receiving the data from space, has released nearly 200 gigabytes of information that was collected from eight instruments on the rover and orbiter between February and June. These instruments include cameras, a radar system, climate sensors and a laser spectrometer.

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