China’s Mars orbiter takes selfies (PHOTOS)

Beijing has shown off four new images of the Red Planet from its Tianwen 1 mission

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has published new photos from its Tianwen 1 Mars project, including two spectacular selfies taken by the mission’s orbiter circling the planet.

The artificial satellite was able to take a picture of itself by releasing a special camera into space on a one-way journey.

© CNSA



The other image was taken in Mars’ orbit and captured the ice cover on its north pole. 

© CNSA



Another picture featured a barren Martian plain taken from China’s Zhurong rover, working on the planet’s surface.

© CNSA



As of Saturday, the rover has spent 224 days on the Red Planet, already outliving its three-month life expectancy more than twice. It has traveled more than 1.4 km (0.9 miles) during this time.

The Tianwen 1 mission, which includes an orbiter and a rover, reached Mars in February last year with the aim of studying the planet’s geology and atmosphere, while also searching for the current and past presence of water.

It has so far transmitted nearly 540 gigabytes of data back to Earth. Beijing says the hardware remains in good condition and has enough energy to continue its operations.

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