China’s Mars rover transmits first images | Ralph Lauren

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After China landed its first space craft on Mars at the weekend, the Zhurong rover has transmitted its first images to earth.

All systems were operating normally, state media reported.

One of the images shows the rover briefly after landing on the Red Planet, while another shows the separation of Zhurong from the Tianwen-1 spacecraft, according to China’s space agency.

The landing module touched down on the surface of Mars on Saturday, making China only the second country to land successfully on earth’s neighbour.

Tianwen-1 took off from earth on July 23 and reached orbit in February.

The flight was one of the most difficult that China has ever undertaken.

The landing was a major challenge as Mars has its own atmosphere, unlike the moon.

If all goes to plan, the Zhurong rover, named for the Chinese god of fire, will investigate the Red Planet for at least three months.

With its first Mars landing, new space power China wants to catch up with the United States, which has already sent several research devices to roam the planet.

China has steadily expanded its space programme over the past few years and has missions planned for decades into the future.

After several successful flights to the moon, China began building its own space station at the end of April.

The 22-tonne Tianhe, which is to form the core module of the space station, was brought up by a rocket at that time.

It is expected to be completed around 2022.

On Wednesday, preparations were under way for the imminent launch of a cargo rocket to transport supplies and fuel to the core module, the second of eleven flights in total needed to complete the space station.



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