China Mars Photos
This image, released Friday, shows the Chinese Mars rover Zhurong near its landing platform taken by a remote camera that was dropped into position by the rover. Photo: China National Space Administration (CNSA) via AP
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Photos show Chinese rover on dusty, rocky Martian surface

42 Comments

The dusty, rocky Martian surface and a Chinese rover and lander bearing small national flags were seen in photos released Friday that the rover took on the red planet.

The four pictures released by the China National Space Administration also show the upper stage of the Zhurong rover and the view from the rover before it rolled off its platform.

Zhurong placed a remote camera about 10 meters from the landing platform, then withdrew to take a group portrait, the CNSA said.

China landed the Tianwen-1 spacecraft carrying the rover on Mars last month after it spent about three months orbiting the red planet. China is the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on Mars, after the United States.

The orbiter and lander both display small Chinese flags and the lander has outlines of the mascots for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The six-wheeled rover is surveying an area known as Utopia Planitia, especially searching for signs of water or ice that could lend clues as to whether Mars ever sustained life.

At 1.85 meters in height, Zhurong is significantly smaller than the U.S.'s Perseverance rover which is exploring the planet with a tiny helicopter. NASA expects its rover to collect its first sample in July for return to Earth as early as 2031.

In addition to the Mars mission, China's ambitious space program plans to send the first crew to its new space station next week. The three crew members plan to stay for three months on the Tianhe, or Heavenly Harmony, station, far exceeding the length of any previous Chinese mission. They will perform spacewalks, construction and maintenance work and carry out science experiments.

Subsequent launches are planned to expand the station, send up supplies and exchange crews. China has also has brought back lunar samples, the first by any country’s space program since the 1970s, landed a probe and rover on the moon’s less explored far side.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


42 Comments
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I’ve seen a couple of articles now that say growing potatoes and radishes in Martian soil is possible. Maybe one day we’ll see a little green on the red planet.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Flags aside it’s quite a feat.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

shouldn't there be track marks from the 'camera' to the rover?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Not to appear cynic but has anybody checked for photoshopping yet?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Cool picture.

shouldn't there be track marks from the 'camera' to the rover?

Well, either they went to the trouble of pulling off a hoax that involved thousands of people and hundreds of millions of dollars all for the sake of a fake photo op, or the rover's track marks are simply out of the frame because it went a slightly different route to return to its position and pose for the shot. I'm leaning towards the latter being the more likely of the two.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Photos show Chinese rover on dusty, rocky Martian surface

I don´t doubt the contraptions got there, but these sharp, perfectly lit photos look a lot more like a studio photo shoot than something transmitted from Mars.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Looks like Johnny 5

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Looks like Johnny 5

Short Circuit 3: Mission to Mars

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wonderful accomplishments by humans of different nations and cultures this year! These kinds of ambitious ‘expeditions’ can be applauded.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

from a car park in a Beijing back street.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

There’s no “hoax, photoshop and other such”. - The Americans are already there, too.

- The tracks can clearly be seen on the ‘right’ side of the second photo.-

The rover exited to a stationary position #1, ventured forth to position #2,

placed a remote camera at position #2 for the “selfie”,

reversed into the same first stationary position (#1), turned on it’s axis about 90 degrees, and then,

moved within the frame to position #3 near the lander for the “selfie” we see,

photographed from the remote camera at position#2.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

For the that matter @zichi 3:45pm,

*- “**from a car park in a Beijing back street.” -*

might as well claim it was taken from an available location in the Gobi desert.

Will people believe China is there now IF the Americans can do a ‘fly over’ with their helicopter?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The first batch of monitoring CCTV cameras has likely been installed...

8 ( +10 / -2 )

If anyone believes this is real, I have a tower in Tokyo to sell them! They are scale models and photoshop, simple as that. Can anyone prove otherwise?

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

If anyone believes this is real, I have a tower in Tokyo to sell them! They are scale models and photoshop, simple as that. Can anyone prove otherwise?

Can you prove they are?

9 ( +14 / -5 )

The real question is why a country that can land a ship on Mars still benefits from "developing nation" trading status.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

The real question is why a country that can land a ship on Mars still benefits from "developing nation" trading status.

This is a fair question. One might say that, despite its generalized wealth as a nation, many regions and vast swathes of the population live in poverty. But then, you could say the exact same about the US.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

How long before the various rovers start scrapping for turf?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don´t doubt the contraptions got there, but these sharp, perfectly lit photos look a lot more like a studio photo shoot than something transmitted from Mars.

Sharp: high quality optical lenses were developed for telescopes and microscopes over 400 years ago, high resolution photography over 150 years ago.

Perfectly lit: sunlight, which is vastly more powerful than studio lighting. This has been well understood in photography for close to 2 centuries, and providing perfectly lit shots for just as long.

Transmitted: radiowaves, mastered by humans more than 100 years ago, and used in space-to-earth communication since the late 1950s.

Where are you seeing technological obstacles to simply taking a high-quality photograph of the Martian surface with 21st century equipment and returning that data to Earth?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I’m led to believe that some people might lack a sense of humour!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Gambare Nippon:

If anyone believes this is real, I have a tower in Tokyo to sell them! They are scale models and photoshop, simple as that. Can anyone prove otherwise?

Sour grapes or what? Don't worry, you can have the wonderful greatest ever Olympics this year.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Looks like it is still red and bare as ever

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Photos look fake.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@Slayer

Photos look fake.

No they don't. They look amazing.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Express sister

The real question is why a country that can land a ship on Mars still benefits from "developing nation" trading status.

This is a fair question. One might say that, despite its generalized wealth as a nation, many regions and vast swathes of the population live in poverty. But then, you could say the exact same about the US.

So the US should have developing nation status?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

That Olympic flag is a little tactless and rotten, no? Oh.. wait, this is China? Well then that makes sense. Strike that.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Whipeout.. question for you. When was photoshop released?

“Sharp: high quality optical lenses were developed for telescopes and microscopes over 400 years ago, high resolution photography over 150 years ago.”

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

No they don't. They look amazing.

If you like Computer Graphics, and the CCP, then I guess so.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Perfectly lit: sunlight, which is vastly more powerful than studio lighting. This has been well understood in photography for close to 2 centuries, and providing perfectly lit shots for just as long.

Where are you seeing technological obstacles to simply taking a high-quality photograph of the Martian surface with 21st century equipment and returning that data to Earth?

The cameras on spacecraft/orbiters/landers/rovers are not designed for perfectly lit high-quality photographs, they are designed for science photographs, and these have application specific set of optics, like hazcams, navcams, mastcams, chemcams etc, the photographs are taken and released as such with minimal processing.

The picture above is heavily processed almost to something a professional phographer would process via photoshop/lightroom etc.. does not look a scientfic or original photograph at all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is always revealing to see who, when the world refuses to confine itself to their limited world view, insist that it is a problem with the world, not their world view.

And, of course, when the rocket that took these machines to Mars was launched, very few people had ever heard about the virus surveillance lab in Wuhan, no one had heard of SARS-COV-2, so there was no reason to suspect that the inclusion of the mascots for the Chinese winter Olympics would be seen as anything other than a reminder that the next Olympics were in China.

PS, I'm old enough to remember when the first pictures from a Mars lander arrived and were shown on TV and printed in magazines. I would have downloaded them and printed them out, but it would have taken days, and tied up my family's phone line for the entire time, my monitor would have shown them in por resolution green and black, and a color printer cost thousands of dollars and would have needed an addition to be built onto our house. So, no, there's nothing suspicious about the pictures, but the mindset behind them does bring back some old memories, when the notion that Japan was capable of anything but making cheap knockoffs and low quality assembly work was common.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@RichardPearce, there's no much wrong in your post, that I don't even know where to begin.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

RichardPearce: "the Chinese winter Olympics would be seen as anything other than a reminder that the next Olympics were in China."

At that point, the next olympics would be in Japan.

RichardPearce: "...first pictures from a Mars lander arrived and were shown on TV and printed in magazines. I would have downloaded them and printed them out"

First Mars lander, 1971, December. And in 1971 you would have downloaded them???? From where? There was no internet, only primitive BBS services which were not invented until 1978, and the first real consumer modem was released in 1981.

Japan was, at the time well known for the quality of workmanship, you may be confusing it with Taiwan (which now also makes excellent products)

I dont know what you were trying to achieve with your message, but conveying anything close to the truth certainly was not part of it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So the US should have developing nation status?

This is nothing new for the US, we have over 60 of experience in this. For the Chinese as still a developing nation it’s very new in comparison, so on their part there will be a lot of trial and error, it’ll take some time, but they’ll get there. Good for them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Congratulations to China for this accomplishment. Look forward to seeing all the raw data from their science. More than what the world has seen from the WHO COVID study.

This isn't faked. Looks like they used a nice foreign lens to capture clear photos.

Just imagine how many photos it took to get both objects framed exactly. I suppose that's why we see 1 photo every 2 weeks from the Chinese space program? Guess all the spy-cams with automatic object recognition used on Uyghurs didn't get shipped to Mars?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NASA has snapped a photo of the Chinese rover and landing parachute on Mars:

https://www.space.com/china-mars-rover-spotted-from-space-nasa-photo

Clearly, not faked. Conspiracy theories, move on to something else.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well done! This is the kind of news I like to see from China.

Wouldn't it be ironic if the American and Chinese probes got in a car... er, rover-accident!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thank you NASA!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wouldn't it be ironic if the American and Chinese probes got in a car... er, rover-accident!

The rovers are all hundreds of far apart (even InSight and Curiosity are about 600km apart). Both are very slow. ;)

Zhurong (2021) - 25.1N x 109.0E - top speed 0.12 mph

Perserverance (2021) - 18.4N x 77.5E - top speed 0.01 mph

InSight (2018) - 4.5N x 135.6E

Curiosity (2012) - 4.3S x 137.2E

Polar Lander (1999) - 76.7S x 164.7E

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The rovers are all hundreds of far apart (even InSight and Curiosity are about 600km apart). Both are very slow. ;)

I'm sure there's a joke about a certain ethnicity of drivers in there!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Looks like a beach in Odaiba.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The China as an underdeveloped country with its city streets seething with people in worn-out Mao suits is still fresh in our memory. That was only a few decades ago.

Who could have thought it would jump onto the world stage so meteorically in terms of economy, space technology and all, in such a short period of time, vying neck and neck with the U.S.?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are a lot of people and countries in the world that take China's rise and development as a real threat. New comers never fail to face such a hurdle blocking its way forward.

So, China must behave extra-carefully, in particular, as regards territorial issues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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