China’s Mars rover sends 1st selfie, ‘touring’ group photos
Beijing: China has revealed new images from its Zhurong rover on Mars, including a beautiful selfie of the rover next to its landing platform.
The first batch of scientific images of the rover, the panoramic view of the landing site, the topography of Mars were released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Friday, calling it “tour group photos”.
Zhurong joined NASA’s Perseverance on Mars, making China the second country to land and operate a rover on the Red Planet.
The picture of the “touring group photo” shows the rover travelling about 10 metres south of the landing platform, releasing the separate camera installed at the bottom of the vehicle, and then retreating to the vicinity of the landing platform.
“The separate camera took pictures of the movement of the rover and the photo of the rover and the landing platform. The image is transmitted to the rover through wireless signals, and then relayed back to the ground by the rover through the orbiter,” CNSA said in a statement.
China landed a probe on a planet other than Earth for the first time on May 15.
The Zhurong robot is due to study the planet’s surface rocks and atmosphere. It will also look for signs of life, including any subsurface water or ice.
The six-wheeled solar-powered Zhurong rover, resembles a blue butterfly and has a mass of 240 kg. It also has an expected lifespan of at least 90 Martian days (about three months on Earth).
Barely a week after its arrival, Zurong also sent back first footage from Mars — two photos and two videos .