China’s Mars orbiter Tianwen 1 has captured a series of incredible, alien images of our neighboring planet. These shots were taken by a small camera that was deployed by Tianwen 1.
The pictures were released on New Year’s Day. They show Tianwen 1, looking lonely above the red planet, as well as Mars’ frozen northern ice cap.
The shots appear to be from a sci-fi film. However, at the same time, they are eerily similar to home at the same time.
The orbiter is now roughly 350 million kilometers (217 million miles) away from Earth, the administration said in a statement, putting it out in deep space.
The image release also includes a gorgeous close-up of Tianwen 1’s golden body, its science antenna, and the solar array, which powers the device on its mission.
The people of the science community were thrilled to be shared these photos with. The shots were a surprise as nobody knew they would be taken and released on New Year’s.
This camera is something unique to Tianwen 1, and it offers some amazing chances to photograph both the red planet and the orbiter.
“Wow! This is yet another surprise from the Tianwen-1 mission. The orbiter had apparently released a small sub-satellite while in Mars orbit, returning these outrageous images.”
The Chinese space agency also released a mosaic image captured by the Zhurong rover on the surface of Mars, showing a more familiar, barren-looking landscape.
Tianwen 1 has been orbiting Mars since February 2021, and the Zhurong rover successfully landed on Mars last May. This makes it the first Chinese rover to do so, and the sixth globally.
“As of Saturday morning, the 1.85-meter-tall, 240-kilogram Zhurong had worked on Martian land for 224 days – far outliving its three-month life expectancy. The rover had traveled more than 1,400 meters,” the Chinese National Space Administration said in a statement as it released the images.