China has released “selfies” of the Tianwen-1 space probe flying the Chinese flag en route to Mars. The China National Space Administration released the images on October 1, the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. The administration said the probe took the “selfies” using a detachable sensor on the outer wall of the probe that was controlled from Earth. The flag weighed around 144 grams (5 ounces) on Earth and was slightly smaller than an A3 piece of paper. The Tianwen-1, which means “heavenly questions” in Chinese, was launched on July 23 and is expected to reach Mars by February next year. It was about 24 million km (15 million miles) from Earth as of Wednesday. The space mission is part of China’s efforts to build a world-class space programme.