China's Mars rover delivers first selfie and other photographs

New photographs from China's Zhurong rover on Mars have been released, featuring a lovely selfie of the rover next to its landing platform.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) published the first set of scientific photographs of the rover on Friday, dubbed "tour group shots," including a panoramic picture of the landing location and the geography of Mars.

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.

On May 15, China became the first country to land a probe on another planet. The Zhurong robot will investigate the surface rocks and atmosphere of the planet. It will also search for evidence of life, such as water or ice underneath the surface. The solar-powered Zhurong rover has six wheels and weighs 240 kg. It resembles a blue butterfly. 

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 . IANS

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