China Mars The probe, Tianwen-1, remained suspended around Mars in a waiting orbit for nearly two months, preparing for the landing of its rover in May.
But it’s not just sitting there in orbit playing with its antennas. The probe scans the planet, orbits closely, verifies the landing site of the probe chosen for the mission – and sends some amazing photos to our dusty planetary friend.
On March 16 and March 18, the spacecraft captured two panoramic images with a medium-resolution camera of the crescent of Mars seen from its far side, and the sun behind it, from a distance of about 11,000 kilometers (6,835 miles).
From that distance, surface contours are visible, different colors dangle across the face of Mars, as well as a faint hazy outline – a thin but dusty atmosphere wrapped around it like a thin crust.
Mars is the most visited planet in the Solar System, but there is much we don’t know yet. With eight orbital vehicles currently in operation (including the Emirati Tianwen-1 and the UAE’s Hope, which also arrived in February this year), as well as two rovers and one landing craft, there are new discoveries being made all the time.
Tianwen-1 carries a landing craft and rover that will land in Utopia Planetia, Within the basin of utopian influence on the northern hemisphere of Mars. It is a large lava plain below it Huge amounts of ice have been foundWhich scientists believe it was one day Habitat of the ocean Before Mars lost its liquid surface water.
The China National Space Administration believes that exploring this region could provide some vital clues that could help us piece together more of the planet’s mysterious history.
No date has been set for the landing yet, but it is slated to take place in mid-May, according to Zhi Wang of the Chinese Academy of Scientists at Space Science Week 2021.
Once the rover is shot down, the rover will continue to orbit the planet, making its own observations, and acting as a communications stage between Earth and Mars.
Hopefully, in the coming years, we’ll see more images like this one.