China’s Tianwen-1 spaceprobe was launched in July 2020, and it has sent back this amazing first image of Mars from about 2.2 million km (1.4 million miles) away from the planet. The mission is preparing to enter Mars’ orbit on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, and is expected to land on the Red Planet in May, in a massive impact basin known as Utopia. Tianwen-1 includes a Mars orbiter, a lander and a rover that will study martian soil.
The spacecraft ignited one of its engines to “make an orbital correction” “and was expected to slow down before being captured by Martian gravity” around February 10, the agency said.
This photo was released Friday, February 5, 2021 by the China National Space Administration. It shows geological features such as the Schiaparelli crater and the Valles Marineris, a vast stretch of canyons on the planet’s surface.
China has already sent space mission Chang’e 4 to the Moon, and achieved humanity’s first soft landing on the far side of the Moon, when it landed Yutu-2 on January 3, 2019 – following from Chang’e 3, the first Chinese landing on the Moon
Image: China National Space Administration