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China’s Zhurong rover sends a selfie from Mars



China has released new images from its Zhurong rover, which began rolling around Mars in late May. One of the photos is a nice selfie of Zhurong next to the landing platform. The “touring group photo,” as the China National Space Administration calls it in a blog post, was taken with a small wireless camera that the rover placed on the surface before scooting back to pose for the shot as an agitated parent.

Zhurong also took a photo of the landing platform itself and showed the ramp that the rover drove down, the Chinese flag, and if you look closely to the left of the flag, the mascots for the Winter Olympics are in Beijing.

A landing platform with a ramp down from it sits in a red-orange landscape.

Zhurong’s landing platform.
Image: CNSA

There are several photos in the Twitter thread below, linked here, including a panorama showing the red planet’s horizon in the distance beyond the rover along with marks on the surface from propellant exhaust during landing.

Zhurong joined NASA’s endurance on Mars last month (though the rovers are over a thousand miles apart), making China the second country to land and operate a rover on the planet. It is expected to continue exploring for about 90 days and it will capture more images as it analyzes the marsh climate and geology.

Perseverance also sent some of its own glamorous photos together in April, though it used a robotic arm (if you want a selfie stick) rather than putting a camera down and backing away from it. This is a family photo of both the rover and its little helicopter buddy, Ingenuity. NASA describes how selfies were made in this blog post with videos.

A slightly skewed composite image with endurance on the right and the little ingenuity copter on the left.  The

Endurance and ingenuity in a selfie sewn together from 62 individual photos.
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

And here is the “face” of perseverance against the serene panorama of Mars. The planet may be a lonely place, but it provides a pretty scenic backdrop.

The head of perseverance protrudes from the bottom of the frame like a face in front of the Martian horizon.

Endurance looks into the camera.
Photo: NASA / JPL (panoramic stitch by Joey Roulette / The Verge)




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