China releases Mars mission probe's first image

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Feb 05, 2021, 11:10 PM(IST)

Mars ready for its close-up Photograph:( Reuters )

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The uncrewed Tianwen-1 took the picture at a distance of around 2.2 million km (1.4 million miles) from Mars, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

China has released the first image of Mars taken by its maiden space exploration mission to the red planet, some six months after the probe left Earth.

The space agency supplied a black-and-white image. The uncrewed Tianwen-1 took the picture at a distance of around 2.2 million km (1.4 million miles) from Mars, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The Tianwen-1 was launched in July from China's southern Hainan island and expected to reach the orbit of Mars this month. In May, it will try to land in Utopia Planitia, a plain in the northern hemisphere, and deploy a rover to explore for 90 days.

The probe is now around 184 million km from Earth after 197 days of the mission, the CNSA said in a statement, adding that its systems were in good condition. Also, it only half that distance away from Mars.

China previously made a Mars bid in 2011 with Russia, but the Russian spacecraft carrying the probe failed to exit Earth's orbit and disintegrated over the Pacific Ocean.

If successful this time, the Tianwen-1 will make China the first country to orbit, land and deploy a rover in its inaugural mission to Mars.

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