May 31, 2023

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Tianwen-1: China's Mars probe photographed the entire Red Planet

Tianwen-1: China’s Mars probe photographed the entire Red Planet

Tianwen-1, which means “Search for Heavenly Truth,” was launched in 2020 and landed on Mars last May, when the Zhurong rover aboard began its mission to patrol and explore the planet while the orbiter orbited overhead.

China’s National Space Agency (CNSA) said in a statement that the probe has now completed all tasks assigned to it, including capturing medium-resolution images covering the entire planet.

The images, published by the space agency on social media, show the rugged terrain of the Martian landscape: dusty red sand dunes, shield volcanoes, impact craters, Antarctic ice caps, cliffs and hills in the Valles Marineris – one of the valleys. The largest canyons in our solar system.

The images were taken by the probe, which orbited Mars 1,344 times, and took pictures of the planet from every angle, as the rover explored the surface, the US space agency said.

The six-wheeled craft carried scientific instruments on its journey, gathering information about the geological structure of Mars, the atmosphere, the environment and soil. Probe collected 1040 GB of Raw scientific data, which she has It was processed by scientists on the ground and handed over to research teams for further study, the agency said.

CNSA said it participated in the orbiter Flight information with NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) and scientific The data will be available to international scientists “in due course”.

With low temperatures during the Martian winter, as well as poor sand and dust conditions, the rover went idle on May 18 that will continue through the harsh season before its expected awakening in December—when it enters its landing zone early spring, bringing in better weather.

The space agency said the orbiter will continue to conduct tests and prepare for future missions.

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Before China’s success with Tianwen-1, only the United States and the former Soviet Union had landed spacecraft on Mars – but India, the European Space Agency and the United Arab Emirates sent spacecraft to enter the planet’s orbit.

With Tianwen-1, China was the first country to attempt to send an orbiter and rover on its first domestic mission to Mars. NASA, for example, sent several orbiters to Mars before attempting a landing.