China has released new images of its Zhurong rover, which began orbiting Mars in late May. One of the photos is a nice selfie of Zhurong next to the landing pad. The ‘touring group photo’, as the China National Space Administration calls it in a blog post, was captured with a small wireless camera that the rover placed on the surface before firing back to line up like an excited parent for the shot.
Zhurong also took a photo of the landing pad himself, which shows the ramp the rover drove down, the Chinese flag, and if you look closely, to the left of the flag, the mascots for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
There are more photos in the Twitter thread below, linked here, including a panorama showing the distant horizon of the Red Planet beyond the rover, along with markings on the surface of propulsion ejection during landing.
Cool panorama here from Zhurong, showing the fascinating horizon, but also areas affected by the landing pad passivation (expelling residual propellant to prevent explosion), to the north and south (also seen in the images of Tianwen-1 & MRO from a job). pic.twitter.com/M3HbkGS6P0
— Andrew Jones (@AJ_FI) June 11, 2021
Zhurong joined NASA’s Perseverance on Mars last month (although the rovers are more than 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 Mars’ climate and geology.
Perseverance also sent something along own glamor photos in April, though it used a robotic arm (a selfie stick, if you will) instead of putting down a camera and backing up. This is a family photo of both the rover and its little helicopter companion, Ingenuity. NASA details how the selfie was taken in this blog post with videos.
And here’s Perseverance’s “face” against the serene panorama of Mars. The planet may be a lonely place, but it makes for a rather picturesque backdrop.