A third image shows the Chinese flag near the landing pad. The rover also took a selfie using a wireless camera, showing its extended solar panels and a tiny Chinese flag emblazoned with its gear.
The six-wheeled solar rover is intended to last for three months, during which it will look for signs or evidence of ancient life on the surface of Mars. While the rover explores the planet, its orbiter also conducts scientific detection operations.
“China will release the related scientific data in due course to enable humanity to share the fruits of the development of the country’s space exploration,” Zhang Kejian, head of China’s national space agency, said in the report. Xinhua.
China launched its Tianwen-1 probe, carrying Zhurong and other equipment, last July, along with two other international missions to Mars: NASA’s Perseverance rover and the United Arab Emirates’ Hope Probe.
All three missions were launched at around the same time due to alignment between Mars and Earth on the same side of the sun, allowing for more efficient travel to the Red Planet.
While Zhurong is not as technologically advanced as NASA’s Perseverance, which also currently roams Mars, its presence sends a clear signal that China’s space capabilities are catching up with those of the United States.
The central module is currently the largest spacecraft developed by China. But the station will have to be assembled from several modules launching at different times; the station could be fully operational by the end of 2022, according to Chinese state media.