The Zhurong Mars rover from China takes a selfie.I wish you could be here!
China’s Zhurong rover has returned a new series of photographs from Mars, including one of the rover taking a “selfie”
The robot, which landed in May, rolled back a short distance to install a wireless camera on the ground.
To Zhurong’s right is the rocket-powered platform that safely landed the six-wheeled vehicle.
Both prominently show Chinese flags.
The rover’s second image shows the platform standing alone.
The ramp that Zhurong had to drive down to reach the surface is visible, as are the traces it made in the dust as it turned around.
A third image shows the horizon as seen from the landing site. This region is called Utopia Planitia, and it covers a large area of Mars’ northern hemisphere.
The Chinese space agency published all of the photographs during a ceremony to commemorate the rover mission’s success.
Scientists anticipate that Zhurong will provide at least 90 Martian days of service.
The robot bears a striking resemblance to NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity probes from the 2000s.
It weighs approximately 240kg. A tall mast will carry cameras to capture images and aid navigation; five more devices will study the mineralogy of local rocks and the general condition of the environment, including the weather.
As with the present American rovers (Curiosity and Perseverance), Zhurong has a laser tool for analyzing the chemistry of rocks. Additionally, it possesses a radar capable of detecting subsurface water-ice, a capacity shared with Perseverance.
The University of Arizona in the United States released a color image of Zhurong obtained from orbit on Thursday. HiRise is the name of the university’s camera, which is placed on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.