Beijing (AFP)

Traces left for eternity, in front of a red flag with five stars.

The photos sent by the Chinese robot Zhurong from the planet Mars filled the space agency of the most populous country in the world with pride on Friday.

Its solar panels deployed like wings and its two cameras pointed at the end of a long neck, the avian-like robot photographed itself next to its landing platform, using a separable camera.

This "selfie" was the pride of the Chinese space agency, the landing platform having deployed the national flag above Martian soil, in a reddish atmosphere.

The agency organized a ceremony for the publication of these images.

Arrived on site in mid-May after a journey of nearly a year from Earth, the robot also took a picture of the tracks of its six wheels in the soil of the red planet.

It is about the "footprint of China" on Mars, welcomed the space agency.

Weighing around 240 kg, "Zhurong" - the god of fire in Chinese mythology - is to conduct soil and atmospheric analyzes and map the red planet during his three-month mission.

The sending of this robot to Mars is a first for the Asian country, which has become the second in the world to succeed in such an operation after the United States.

© 2021 AFP