A black and white picture of a barren landscape. There is a ramp at the bottom

Zhurong rover sends first pictures of Mars

The landing capsule moves away from the orbiter, a precursor to the first pictures Zhurong will send from the surface. Credit: China National Space Agency.

Just a few days after landing on Mars, China’s Zhurong rover – named after the god of fire in Chinese folk tales – has sent back two images from the red planet: a black and white image, and a selfie in full colour!

Zhurong landed in the northern hemisphere of the Red Planet on a vast plain called Utopia Planitia on 14 May. Just a few days later, it sent back a picture from an obstacle avoidance camera that was installed on the front of the rover.

The black and white picture shows a ramp that descends from the lander down to the surface of the planet.

The second colour image was taken by a different navigation camera at the rear of the rover, and shows Zhurong’s unfolded solar panels and antenna, with a bit of the iconic Martian red soil and rocks in the background.

Zhurong also sent back videos taken by a camera on the orbiter that showed how the lander and rover separated from the orbiter during landing.

This black and white view of Mars is a photo from a navigation camera on Zhurong. The ramp to the Martian surface from Zhurong’s lander is visible, as are two subsurface radar instruments on the rover and the Martian horizon in the wide-angle view. Credit: China National Space Administration.
This photo is the first color view of Mars from China’s Zhurong rover, looking toward its rear, from its landing spot on a plain in Utopia Planitia following a 14 May 2021 landing. This image was released 19 May. Credit: China National Space Administration.

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