BEIJING, Jun 11 (EFE) .- A 360-degree panorama and a rover “selfie” are among the color photos taken on the surface of Mars released by the National Space Administration of China (CNSA) on Friday.
The panorama shows the surroundings of the landing zone – a flat, stony and red terrain – and it was taken by the Zhurong rover (in honor of the fire god of ancient Chinese mythology) before leaving the landing platform.
“The nearby surface is relatively flat, with stones of different sizes distributed, with smooth edges, lighter colors and half-buried”, detailed the CNSA.
“The image shows that the terrain near the landing site is flat, the Martian horizon can be seen in the distance, and the abundance and size of the rocks are consistent with expectations.”
The photo also shows the descent ramp to Martian terrain and the rear of Zhurong and its solar panels.
The second of the photos shows the landing platform and the exit ramp for the Zhurong, which took the photo, and a Chinese flag unfurled.
At the bottom of the ramp, there are circular marks left by the rover in the red dust.
For the third image, Zhurong detached the camera he normally carries and stepped back a few meters, taking a “selfie” with the landing platform from ground level.
“The image is transmitted to the rover via wireless signals and then retransmitted by the rover to the ground via the orbiter,” said the CNSA.
According to the agency, the orbiter is in good condition and the rover has been working on the surface for 28 Martian days.
Zhurong is part of the Chinese Tianwen-1 mission, sent into space in July of last year and whose landing probe reached the planet’s surface on May 15, south of the plain of Utopia Planitia.
Tianwen-1 (which translates to “heavenly matters”) is China’s first Mars exploration mission and the first in history to combine travel, entry into orbit, and descent into a single mission.
Chinese scientists plan to find more evidence of the existence of water or ice on the planet, as well as conduct research on the material composition of the surface of Mars and the characteristics of its climate. EFE