Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tianwen 1 Spacecraft Captures Spectacular Selfie Shots of Mars

The Tianwen 1 spacecraft at Mars pulled a big New Year’s surprise with stunning new images captured by a small camera that flew free of the orbiter to snap epic selfies above the Red Planet. The China National Space Administration published the latest photos.

The image captured by Tianwen 1 is Mars’ north pole, with its solar arrays and antennas on display, as well as a partial closeup of the orbiter and a view of the Red Planet’s northern ice cap. The Mars shots were taken by a small camera device released by the orbiter, which then took images and sent them to Tianwen 1 via WiFi.

The views give an unprecedented view of a spacecraft in orbit around another planet, showing the golden body of Tianwen 1, the silver high-gain antenna for communications, solar arrays, and science antennae. A closeup shows the spacecraft’s radar antenna parallel to the solar array.The images received keen attention on social media, including engineers involved in Mars photography from other space agencies. Tianwen 1 has been orbiting the Red Planet since February 2021 and released the Zhurong rover for its landing last May.

The orbiter also pulled a similar stunt on the way to Mars, deploying a small camera to snap photos of the probe while in deep space with Zhurong still attached in its aeroshell. However, the spacecraft still had another trick up its sleeve with the New Year’s image. In November, the European Space Agency’s Mars Express collected data from China’s Zhurong Mars rover and successfully sent it to Earth as part of experimental communications tests.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *