The Chinese Mars exploration probe Tianwen-1 sent the first image of the Red Planet taken from a distance of 2.2 million kilometers. It successfully performed the fourth orbit correction, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
“On February 5, at 20.00 Beijing time, the first Chinese probe for the exploration of Mars, Tianwen-1, successfully made the fourth correction of the orbit,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Tianwen-1 probe was launched on July 23 from the Wenchang Space center on Hainan Island. The probe has been in flight for 197 days; the flight range has exceeded 465 million kilometers. It is at a distance of about 184 million kilometers from Earth, the distance to Mars is 1.1 million kilometers, and all systems are working normally.
If the mission is successful, the device will send the received data to Earth this year. In April 2020, China announced that its first Mars exploration mission would be called “Tianwen-1” (“Questions to the Sky”). “Tianwen” is a work of the great Chinese poet Cai Yuan.
The mission includes output and rotation in the orbit of Mars, landing, and movement on the surface of the red planet. If the mission is successful, scientists will be able to study the atmosphere, topography, geological characteristics, and features of the planet’s magnetic field, which will help clarify the origin and evolution of Mars and the entire Solar System.
At the same time, the main goal of the mission is to find possible signs of life on Mars and help scientists understand weather conditions on this planet can change in the future so that it will become habitable for humans.