To celebrate the Lunar New Year, which is February 1, the China National Space Administration released a video of the Tianwen-1 Mars probe in orbit above Mars.
The video shows that the orbiter’s 3000N engine, propellant tank, attitude control engine and other components remain in excellent condition as the probe works on its mission. The Tianwen-1 orbiter was launched on July 23, 2020, and has been in orbit around Mars for 557 days.
China’s Mars probe Tianwen-1 extended festival greetings to the Chinese people with stunning video footage captured by a camera on its orbiter to snap selfies above the red planet on Monday, the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year https://t.co/6lCYTk7zEf pic.twitter.com/GfSe3tBZEJ
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 31, 2022
If you’ve been following our regular coverage of the Tianwen-1 Mars Mission, you’ll know that China didn’t send just a probe into space. The CNSA also deployed the Zhurong rover. On June 14, 2021, the rover sent back its first images from Mars, including a selfie. Shortly after the original selfie, Zhurong sent back a video.
In total, the Tianwen-1 mission has sent 600GB of scientific data back to Earth, per the CNSA. The Tianwen-1 mission’s objectives include investigating the surface geology on Mars, searching for indications of past or present sources of water and learning more about the overall environment and atmosphere of the red planet.
|One of the first images the CNSA released from the Tianwen-1 mission last year.|
While the CNSA is relatively tight-lipped with its space exploration missions – the CNSA Twitter account last posted in May, for example – we have been treated to some great photos of Mars in the past year. The first shots last March show incredible detail of the Martian surface. And just a few weeks ago, the CNSA published four new photos of Mars from the Tianwen-1 mission.
Between China’s Zhurong rover and the two NASA rovers, Curiosity and Perseverance, currently operating on Mars, there’s reason to be excited and hope that we’ll soon learn even more about Mars and its history.