China’s space agency announced on Wednesday that after spending more than a year on Mars, China’s Tianwen-1 probe captured images of the entire red planet.
Tianwen-1, which means “quest for heavenly truth,” was started in 2020 and docked on Mars last May, when the Zhurong rover on board commenced its mission of patrolling and inspecting the planet while the orbiter roamed around overhead.
During an announcement, China’s National Space Agency (CNSA) declared that “the probe has now completed all its assigned tasks, including taking medium-resolution images covering the entire planet.”
The pictures, posted by the space agency on social media, exhibit the Martian landscape’s rugged terrain: dusty red dunes, craters, shield volcanoes, the south pole ice sheet, and the cliffs and highlands of the Valles Marineris canyons. Valles Marineris canyons are one of the largest canyons in our solar system.
“The images were taken by the probe’s orbiter, which circled Mars 1,344 times, capturing images of the planet from every angle, while the rover explored the surface, “CNSA announced.
The six-wheeled rover contained scientific instruments on its journey, collecting information regarding Mars’ geological structure, atmosphere, environment, and soil. “The probe has collected 1,040 gigabytes of raw scientific data, which has been processed by scientists on Earth and handed to research teams for further study, “the agency said.
CNSA said it “had shared the orbiter’s flight information with NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), and the scientific data will be available to international scientists “at an appropriate time.”