The Chinese Tianwen-1 probe sends its first Mars images back
The Tianwen-1 probe in China is slowly nearing the end of its voyage to Mars. The craft has now sent its first snapshot of the red planet back to Earth, just 1.1 million kilometers away.
Tianwen-1, whose name means ‘Search for Celestial Reality,’ sent back a black and white image of the red planet taken while the probe was about 2.2 million kilometers from Mars.
The probe, launched last year in July, is China’s first mission to Mars.
An orbiter and a landing capsule are fitted for the probe. The rover would land in May on a large impact basin on the surface of the planet known as the Utopia Planitia. The purpose of the project is to chart the geological structure of the soil of Mars and look for water deposits.
On February 18, NASA’s Perseverance rover is set to land on Mars’ Jezero Crater. This bold mission would obtain samples from the surface of the planet and return them to Earth for further research.
If Tianwen-1 succeeds in landing on Mars in May, China will be just the third nation to land on the red planet. The only others to land a craft on Mars were the USA and the Soviet Union.