China exhibits first proof of its imminent arrival on Mars | Digital Trends Spanish
Almost six months after it left Earth, China’s first space exploration mission to Mars offered the first proof of its arrival: a black-and-white image captured by the Tianwen-1 probe.
The probe took the picture at a distance of about 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) from Mars, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
The Chinese space agency added that the spacecraft is half that distance from Mars and about 184 million kilometers from Earth, depending on the orbits.
The Tianwen-1 probe was launched on July 23, 2020 from Hainan Island in southern China, powered by the Long March heavy-lift rocket. Since then, it has flown more than 465 million kilometers.
The 5-ton probe, which consists of two main parts – the orbiter and the landing capsule – should reach the orbit of Mars on February 10, 2021, according to Chinese estimates.
According to the mission plans, in May 2021 it will try to land on Utopia Planitia, a plain in the northern hemisphere, where it will deploy a rover that will explore the area for 90 days.
China, special power
If successful, China will become the first country to orbit, land and deploy a rover on its first mission to Mars. In 2020, it already became the first country to bring samples from the Moon since 1970.
Although it is the first independent mission to Mars, it is the second Chinese attempt to reach this planet.
In 2011, a joint mission with Russia was unable to leave Earth’s orbit and disintegrated over the Pacific Ocean.
Along with Tianwen-1, the Emirati Al-Amal satellite and the US Perseverance rover are also expected to reach Mars during February 2021.