New images of Mars unveiled

By ZHAO LEI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-06-12 07:00
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The China National Space Administration makes public four pictures taken by the Tianwen 1 robotic mission on June 11, 2021. [Photo/China National Space Administration]

Tianwen 1, named after an ancient Chinese poem, was launched by a Long March 5 heavy-lift carrier rocket on July 23 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southernmost island province of Hainan, kick-starting China's first mission to another planet.

Driven by a combination of 48 large and small engines, the spacecraft traveled more than 470 million km and carried out four midcourse corrections and a deep-space trajectory maneuver before entering the orbit of Mars on Feb 10.

On Feb 24, Tianwen 1 entered a preset parking orbit above Mars and maintained that orbit to examine the predetermined landing site until May 15, when it descended to a lower orbit to release the landing capsule, which touched down on the Martian surface after a succession of sophisticated maneuvers.

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