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China's Mars Probe Has Sent Back Some Otherworldly Photos of the Red Planet

By: Buzz Staff

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Last Updated: June 30, 2022, 08:47 IST

An image of Mars captured by Chinese rover Zhurong of the Tianwen-1 mission is seen in this image released by China National Space Administration (CNSA) June 29, 2022. (CNSA/Handout via REUTERS)

An image of Mars captured by Chinese rover Zhurong of the Tianwen-1 mission is seen in this image released by China National Space Administration (CNSA) June 29, 2022. (CNSA/Handout via REUTERS)

The Tianwen-1 consists of a lander, an obiter and a rover named Zhurong.

After reaching Mars in May last year, China’ first Mars mission, Tianwen-1, has completed its scientific explorations tasks on the Red Planet. It has now sent the latest pictures from Mars that have captured the entire surface of the planet. The Tianwen-1 consists of a lander, an obiter and a rover named Zhurong. While the orbiter hovered around Mars surveying it, the rover was made to land on the Martian surface for exploration, as per CGTN.

The orbiter moved around the Red Planet for a total of 1,344 times in the last 796 days. In the process, it collected mid-resolution visual data mapping the whole planet. The Zhurong rover, named after the god of fire in Chinese mythology, explored the surface of Mars and carried out scientific tasks.

Zhurong covered a distance of nearly 2 kms on Mars after which it went into hibernation on May 18 because of extreme winter weather. The rover will resume exploration around December during the spring.

So far, the Tianwen-1 has sent 1,040 gigabytes of raw data back to Earth which was then processed by scientists. Some of the data from the Red Planet has also been published in scientific journals. The data will also be made available to scientists around the world, according to China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The space agency is also working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) to share the data with them and warn about potential collisions with other probes.

The Tianwen-1 was sent into space through its launch vehicle, Long March-5 rocket, in July 2020. It entered the Mars orbit in February 2021 after which Zhurong rover was released on the surface for exploration later in May.

The mission thoroughly studied the planet including its geological structure, morphology, distribution of surface water ice, surface material composition, soil characteristics, atmospheric ionosphere, and surface climate and environment. It also analysed the internal structure and the physical field of the Red Planet, as per Liu Tongjie, spokesperson of China's first Mars mission and deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center.

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first published:June 30, 2022, 08:47 IST
last updated:June 30, 2022, 08:47 IST