In orbit around Mars, China’s Tianwen-1 probe sends video of the red planet

Mars. – ISRO / AFP

Last week, the Chinese probe transmitted a photo of the planet Mars during its approach. This Friday, the Chinese space agency released a short video of Tianwen-1 flying over the red planet, two days after successfully placing it in orbit.

On the video broadcast by the public television channel CCTV, the surface of the planet stands out against the black sky. White craters are visible on the planet’s surface, which the probe flies over for the duration of a Martian day, according to the official China New Agency.

Big ambitions by 2030

In the midst of diplomatic and technological rivalry with the United States, China has opened up a new field of competition with an ambitious space program, which aims to establish a manned space station by 2022 and send an astronaut to the moon on the horizon. 2030.

Tianwen-1 (“Questions to the sky-1” in Chinese) is made up of three elements: an orbiter (which will continue to revolve around the star), a lander (which should land on Mars) and a remote-controlled robot. Tianwen-1 was launched last July, along with American and Emirati probes.

Ambitious, China hopes to do in this first independent attempt almost everything the United States has achieved in several Martian missions since the 1960s: place a probe in orbit, land a lander, then bring out a remote-controlled robot so that ‘he analyzes the Martian surface.

Landing planned for May

Chinese scientists hope to land the 240 kg rover on Utopia, a Martian plain in May. For three months, the mission would analyze the planet’s soil and atmosphere and take pictures, map the planet and look for signs of past life.

Mars has proven to be an elusive goal, with most missions since 1960, sent by Russia, Europe, Japan, and India, failing. NASA’s mobile robot Perseverance is expected to land on Mars on February 18. If it does, it will be only the fifth rover to make the trip since 1997, all American.

Source: 20Minutes – Une by

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