Beijing, May 20: Days after their rover 'Zhurong' successfully landed on the surface of Mars, China National Space Administration (CNSA) unveiled the first photographs and videography taken by its Zhurong rover.
In a statement Wednesday,
the China National Space Administration said the images show the rover’s departure ramp, solar panels, antennas, and other mechanisms deployed normally after landing. The imagery also confirms the landscape in front of the rover is clear of hazards.
The black-white image shows the ramp built into the lander extended down to the ground to allow the solar-powered rover to roll onto the surface. The colored image, on the other hand, was taken by the navigation camera fitted to the rear of the rover. It showed the rover’s solar panels and antenna unfolded, and the red soil and rocks on the Martian surface.
Moreover, the video shows how the lander and the rover separated from the orbiter during landing.
Besides, CNSA said Zhurong is now preparing to leave the lander and come down to the surface of Mars."Later on, our Mars rover will carry out the mission of patrolling and exploring the Mars surface. The rover will come down from the lander, check its status and plan the path. Then it will conduct scientific exploration in accordance with our set goals," said Zhang Rongqiao, chief designer of China's Mars exploration mission.
Reacting to the photos, NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson issued the statement and congratulated China. He said “Congratulations to the China National Space Administration on receiving the first images from the ZhurongMars rover!”
Joining the United States, China's first Mars probe Tianwen-1 made touched down on the red planet on Saturday morning. On May 17, the orbiter implemented the fourth near-fire brake and entered the relay communication orbit, establishing a stable relay communication link for the Mars rover, and successively sending back image data. This is China’s first Mars exploration mission, the Tianwen-1 probe had a successful launch on July 23, 2020.