The Chinese Mars exploration probe Tianwen-1 has transmitted a stock photo of Earth and the Moon taken at a distance of 1.2 million kilometres from our planet.
Tianwen-1 was launched on July 23 from the Wenchang Cosmodrome on Hainan Island. The photo taken on July 27 with the help of an optical sensor was released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
China's Tianwen 1 Mars probe sent back a picture of Earth and the moon to ground control on Monday, the China National Space Administration said on Tuesday. #China #space https://t.co/xpTCpLdeOG pic.twitter.com/h7rNiW9deB
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) July 28, 2020
The probe has already covered the distance of more than 1.5 million kilometres and entered the interplanetary orbit, all its systems, including those for control, command and data transmission, operate under regulatory conditions.
According to preliminary calculations, it will take seven months for the probe to reach the surface of the red planet and transmit the data obtained to Earth in 2021.
China announced last April that its first Mars exploration mission will be called Tianwen-1 (Questions to Heaven, is the name of a poem by the renowned Chinese poet Qu Yuan (340 -278 BC).
The mission involves reaching Mars’ orbit, orbiting it, descending to its surface, and moving there. If this plan is successful, scientists will be able to study the atmosphere, geological characteristics and particularities of this planet’s magnetic field, which would allow obtaining a key to find out the origin and evolution of both Mars and the entire Solar System.
The main objective of the mission is to find probable signs of organic life on Mars and to understand weather conditions on this planet could change in the future to become acceptable to the existence of humans.