Since China's Zhurong Mars rover landed on the Red Planet just this month. However, some people's mind was on one thing. Will there be a robot war between NASA's Perseverance rover and China's?
A surprising number of people are calling for an epic fight between the Zhurong lander and Perseverance on social media. Many of them used social media - from Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit - to express their support for the contest.
Would definitely watch a duel to the death between U.S. and Chinese Mars rovers. Battlebots in Space! https://t.co/mcpkSieIJb— james gibney (@jamesgibney) February 24, 2021
But, first and foremost, this won't happen. Both countries paid tens of billions of dollars and yuan to get their craft to Mars, not to mention countless hours of human labor. They're not going to give it up in a single (albeit epic) fight.
Not just that, but according to Nature, Perseverance and Zhurong are hundreds of miles apart. But what if they really did? In a war between NASA's Perseverance and China's Zhurong, who will win? Why rover is the galaxy's pound-for-pound robot war champion?
To answer the question, we'll examine each rover and rank them according to four criteria: weight, reach, distance, and heart rate.
We'll be using publicly accessible information about each rover - but it's worth noting that China keeps its rover secrets as with most of its space operations. But we can fill in the blanks with a few educated guesses.
It's all about the intangibles here. Fighters have a killer instinct because of their grit. So, which rover has the most courage? When Perseverance landed on Mars in February, it won the hearts of many space enthusiasts.
It also has a well-maintained social media presence (take note of Perseverance's official Twitter account), which keeps us up to date on its Mars explorations.
Testing out my tools as I move into more science. Used my robotic arm to get right up close to this rock after zapping it with my laser. Can you tell I’m really into rocks?https://t.co/7w3rbvbyoL pic.twitter.com/Yl0gzduCWi— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) May 13, 2021
Percy has a personality, but does it have the ability to defeat others?
In Chinese folklore, Zhurong is named after the god of fire. It conjures up images of destruction and dominance.
It's the name of a rover who's too preoccupied with constructing a mountain out of its enemies' skulls to do stuff like draft a tweet.
It's a close call, but Zhurong emerges victorious.
"In the world of kung fu, pace chooses the winner," says one of the action films titled Kung Fu Hustle, per IMDB.
Unfortunately, both rovers are so sluggish that they could make Usain Bolt look like a sloth - but one is quicker than the other.
According to Space.com, Perseverance has a peak speed of.01 miles per hour. That's obviously not very far, particularly considering Ingenuity can travel at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.
Zhurong, on the other hand, moves at a breakneck pace of 12 mph as the speed limit. In comparison to Perseverance, that's lightning-fast. If we exclude Ingenuity from the equation, Chinese Rover emerges victorious.
Long-armed fighters will hold their enemies at bay by punching them from a distance. Rovers will use them aboard instruments in the same way.
In terms of instruments, Zhurong is somewhat tiny. The New York Times said it has retractable solar panels that help fuel it and shake off martian particles. They can also be used to kill their enemies by smacking them in the face.
A multi-spectral and terrain camera, ground-penetrating radar, magnetic field detector, and weather sensors are also used on the rover. All of this is perfect for seeing the foe.
Perseverance, on the other hand, had the Chinese rover by a mile - actually. It can battle Zhurong from a mile away with the help of the Ingenuity helicopter.
Perseverance also has a seven-foot arm with a drill at the end of it, as well as a very freakin' laser beam fueled by plutonium for finding and analyzing materials, even without Ingenuity.
Check out more news and information on Space on Science Times.