China on Mars: Zhurong rover returns first pictures

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China has released the first pictures taken by its Zhurong rover on Mars.

The forward view shows the landscape ahead of the robot as it sits on its landing platform; the rear-looking image reveals Zhurong’s solar panels.

The rover touched down on the Red Planet early on Sunday, Beijing time.

In doing so, it made China only the second nation – after America – to successfully put a probe on the surface of Mars and operate it for a significant length of time.

Chinese scientists hope get at least 90 Martian days of service out of the six-wheeled robot at its location on Utopia Planitia, a vast terrain in the planet’s northern hemisphere.

Agencies
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