A close-up shows Tianwen-1's gold body, a solar array that powers the craft, and various antennas in full with Mars as its backdrop. Photo Credit: China National Space Administration

Technology China11. January 2022

Selfies from Mars: Cosmic Mission Shows Big Progress

A few pictures from the Red Planet, including selfies, show the world the progress China’s mission orbiter is making on Mars – and it’s looking very positive indeed!

“The orbiter is currently orbiting Mars in very good condition. We can see our orbiter flying around Mars in a working state, and we can clearly see the solar panel wings, directional antenna, and some of the antenna facilities in orbit,” as per China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The pictures were taken with a mini camera that floated away from the spacecraft. The scarlet surface can be seen, as well as the planet’s northern ice cap. Launched in July 2020, the Tianwen-1 mission orbiter reached Mars in February 2021. Its Zhurong rover was deployed in May 2021, and the 1.85-meter-tall, 240-kilogram vehicle has traveled more than 1,400 meters over 224 days, far outliving its three-month life expectancy, and is still in good enough condition to continue its mission.

Smithsonian Magazine

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