China releases first images from its Zhurong rover on Mars

China’s Zhurong rover has beamed back its first images from the surface of Mars after landing on a vast plain called Utopia Planitia. The rover plunged through the Martian atmosphere last Friday, bundled together with a lander after separating from China’s Tianwen-1 probe.

The new images released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) show the two robots meticulously executing their first post-landing steps: the lander extended a tiny ramp to help Zhurong put its six wheels on the Martian surface for the first time. And Zhurong unfolded its four wing-like solar panels and a communications antenna, as seen from one of the rover’s navigation cameras.

Image: CNSA
A shot of the backside of Zhurong taken by…

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