The Chinese robotic vehicle Tianwen-1 has sent its first photos of Mars, which were taken from the orbit of the red planet. This was reported by the press service of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
The two black-and-white images were taken by a high-resolution camera when the probe was at an altitude of 330 to 350 km above the surface of Mars, CNSA reports. The photo (click to enlarge) clearly shows craters, mountain ranges and dunes of the fourth planet from the Sun.
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The color photo was taken with a different camera and shows the north pole of Mars.
As noted, the ultimate goal of the Tianwen-1 mission is to land the rover on the Utopia Plain in May or June. If the rover works, it will become the sixth in the history of mankind and the first Chinese rover to operate. The previous five were American, including the Perseverance, which began its mission in February.
- On July 23, 2020, the Tianwen-1 mission was launched from Earth.
- On February 10, 2021, the Chinese station made a 15-minute deceleration maneuver and entered the primary elliptical orbit of 400 x 180,000 km with an inclination of 10 ° and an orbital period of 10 days. The PRC, following the UAE, entered a small club of countries that were able to send vehicles to an areocentric (Martian) orbit.
- A day earlier, the Al Amal (Hope) probe launched by the UAE entered Mars orbit.