China’s space probe approaches Mars and takes its first photo

Imagem planeta mArte tirada pela nave espacial chinesa Tianwen-1

At the end of last July 2020, China launched the Long March 5 rocket from the Wenchang base to Mars. The mission took 7 months to reach the red planet. Now, already slowly entering planet orbit, the Tianwen-1 spacecraft has sent the first image of Mars to Earth.

The image shown was shared by the National Space Agency. The mission is preparing to land on the Red Planet later this year.

China explores Tianwen-1 coming to Mars

According to ReportedThe spacecraft, launched last summer, is expected to enter Mars orbit on February 10 to compete with the US mission.

Black and white photo, released Friday National Space Administration of China, Showing the geographical features of the vast expanse of valleys on the surface of Mars, including the Schiaparelli crater and the Walls Marineris.

According to the agency, the robotic spacecraft enabled one of its engines to make "an orbit correction" on Friday and is expected to slow down within 4 days before being "caught by Mars gravity".

The five-ton Tianwen-1 will include a Martian orbit, landing block and a planetary rover. China hopes to land in an area called Rover in May Utopia Planitia, A large impact bed on Mars.

Utopia Planetia (from Greek and Latin: "empty space of impossible wholeness") is the largest recognized impact bed on Mars, with a diameter of approximately 3300 km. | NASA

China wants to come out as a super space power

After the United States and the Soviet Union took the lead during the Cold War, China poured millions of dollars into its military-led space program. Thus, in the last decade, the country has Great improvements, By sending a man into space in 2003.

Asian power will build a space station by 2022 and lay the foundation for a permanent position in Earth's orbit.

However, Mars proved to be a challenging target. So far, only the United States has successfully landed on the planet. Other countries like Russia, Europe, Japan and India have already invested to reach Mars.

Tianwen-1 is not China's first attempt to reach Mars. The previous mission with Russia in 2011 was completed prematurely because the launch failed.

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About the Author: Nathaniel Marrow

Explorer. Entrepreneur. Devoted coffee enthusiast. Avid bacon geek. Lifelong internet nerd.

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