Pictures From China’s Mars Rover Fuel NASA Chief’s Funding Pitch to Congress

China's Zhurong rover on Mars
An image from China's Zhurong rover shows spacecraft hardware in the foreground and Martian terrain in the background. (Credit: CNSA)

The first pictures from a Chinese probe on the surface of Mars were released May 19, sparking a plea from NASA’s recently appointed chief for more funding to keep America in the lead on the space frontier.

China’s Zhurong rover, which landed on the Red Planet on May 14, sent back pictures as it sat atop its landing platform on the flat plain of Utopia Planitia. One picture provides a rover’s-eye view of the ramp that the six-wheeled robot will use to roll down onto the surface.

The probe also sent back video clips that were captured by China’s Tianwen-1 orbiter during the lander’s separation.

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