For people asking “Where are the pictures of China’s Zhurong rover?” – it’s still early days. Above is a timeline comparison with NASA’s Perseverance. Testing processes take time – Perseverance did not start driving until 15 days after arrival. And apparently Zhurong’s initial uplink speed was only 16 bit/s.
As I understand the schedule, Zhurong will roll off the lander on 22 May, and the rover and lander will photograph each other on 27 May.
Update #1: the Zhurong rover has now established a higher-bandwidth uplink via the Tianwen-1 orbiter, so sending photos taken by the lander is now technically feasible.
Update #2: photographs have now been released (rover on left and view down descent ramp on right):
The Emirates Mars MissionHope orbiter, launched in July last year, is scheduled for Mars orbit insertion on Tuesday 9 February (at 3:42 PM GMT = 9:42 AM Chicago time = 2:42 AM Wed Sydney time). The orbiter has three scientific instruments intended to study different aspects of the Martian atmosphere:
The Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) will study the lower atmosphere of Mars at infrared wavelengths, looking for dust, ice particles, etc.
The Emirates Exploration Imager (EXI) will study the lower atmosphere of Mars at visible (RGB) and ultraviolet (UV-A/C) wavelengths and will also take pictures of the planet itself.
The Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) will study gases in the upper atmosphere of Mars.
Here is a planetary fruit salad – a scale model of objects in the solar system (click to zoom). The Moon and the smaller planets are on the top left saucer. The lower right saucer represents the rings of Saturn.
On this scale (roughly 1 to 2 billion), the Moon is 19 centimetres from the Earth, the Earth is 73 metres from the Sun, Jupiter is 380 metres from the Sun, and Pluto is around 3 kilometres from the Sun.
Books of 2009 included Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (set in 1500–1535; a TV series of 2015), The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (dystopian science fiction; Nebula Award winner), and The Maze Runner by James Dashner (young adult dystopian sci-fi; a film of 2014). Books that I later reviewed include The Lassa Ward by Ross Donaldson and God’s Philosophers by James Hannam.
On a more sombre note, 2004 saw the Boxing Day Tsunami. In the field of technology, Facebook and Gmail both launched in 2004, and Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn shared the Turing Award (for having invented the Internet).
In 2006, I had the privilege of attending two conferences in England (the 11th International Command & Control Research & Technology Symposium in Cambridge and the Complex Adaptive Systems and Interacting Agents Workshop in Oxford).
This was the year that NASA launched the New Horizons spaceprobe towards Pluto (it was to arrive in 2015). Ironically, later in 2006, the International Astronomical Union somewhat controversially downgraded the status of Pluto to that of a “dwarf planet.”
In 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
But on 21 July 1969, at 17:54 UTC, the spacecraft Eagle lifted its metaphorical wings and took off from the Moon (well, the upper ascent stage took off, as shown in the photograph below). There followed a rendezvous with Columbia, a flight back to Earth, and an eventual splashdown on 24 July. Mission accomplished.