China’s Tianwen-1 orbiter has now photographed the entirety of Mars after circling it 1,300 times, and the outcome is simply incredible.
After its launch in 2020, the Tianwen-1 orbiter reached the Red Planet in February 2021 and began to picture the surface. Meanwhile, the Zhurong rover, which was part of the Tianwen-1 mission, landed on 22 May 2021, as reported by Chinese state media at the time.
Now the photographing is complete, let’s take a look at a couple of the incredible snaps taken by the spacecraft and find out more about the mission.
Tianwen-1 spacecraft orbits Red Planet 1,300 times in 706 days
The Tianwen-1 spacecraft launched on 23 July 2020 on board a Long March 5 Y-4 rocket from Wenchang Space Launch Centre. It then travelled a total of 295 million miles before it carried out a ‘Martian orbit’ on 10 February 2021, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Tianwen-1 consists of six pieces of equipment to capture the images of Mars effectively – an orbiter, two deployable cameras, a lander, a remote camera and the Zhurong rover.
After more than three months of prep and planning, the lander touched down on Mars on 14 May 2021. A week after the lander touched down, the Zhurong rover drove out on to the surface to begin the filming process from ground level.
Incredible Mars photos released after spacecraft orbits Red Planet
At the beginning of the year, the CNSA published four photos of the Tianwen-1 probe above Mars. Photos captured from the mission also display a top-down view of the 11-mile Ascraeus Mons shield volcano, which was first detected by a NASA spacecraft more than 50 years ago.
Tianwen-1 even took a series of selfies that showed a full picture of the Tianwen-1 in space with the Red Planet’s north pole behind it. Something that might shock you is the images were then shared through wi-fi.
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