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As China Spacecraft Lands on Mars, Ham Notes Lander and Rover Separation


As China’s Tianwen-1 lander and Zhurung rover separated over the Martian surface, at least one radio amateur — Edgar Kaiser, DF2MZ, in Germany — was able to note the separation. The vehicle used a combination of a protective capsule, a parachute, and a rocket platform to make the descent.

The Tianwen-1 orbiter remains in orbit, equipped with a high-resolution camera, a magnetometer, a spectrometer, and a subsurface radar. The lander touched down in Utopia Planitia, a massive impact basin that may have once contained an ocean and is thought to have buried ice. In February, Canadian radio amateur Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, was able to copy the signal from Tianwen-1, which went into orbit around Mars on February 10. — Thanks to The Orbital Index