Faithful to what is already a tradition in interplanetary exploration, the Chinese rover Zhurong sent this Friday (11) its first selfie taken on Mars, equaling the feat of “neighbors” like Curiosity and Perseverance, both of NASA .
The color photo, taken from the ground with a wireless camera, shows Zhurong from the front, next to the lander that brought him to the planet’s surface on May 14 this year. On both vehicles, the Chinese flag appears prominently.
The Chinese Space Agency (CNSA) also released another photo taken by Zhurong, which shows the robot’s landing module and descent ramp. It is possible to see in front of the ramp the traces left by the wheels of the rover and, behind the module, a “dark spot” on the ground caused by the expulsion of excess fuel during landing.
China is the third country to land a vehicle on Mars, behind the Soviet Union (1971) and the United States (1976). Zhurong takes its name from a contest of Chinese Internet users and refers to a “god of fire” in a Chinese legend. This is appropriate since, in Chinese, Mars is known as a “fire star”.