China’s first Mars probe has transmitted a photo of Earth and the Moon as it heads toward its destination, the country’s space agency said Tuesday.
The image, which shows the two celestial bodies as small croissants in the empty darkness of space, was taken 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) from Earth three days after the launch of the Tianwen-1 mission on Thursday, it said. the China National Space Administration. .
China joined the United States and the United Arab Emirates this month to launch a mission to Mars, taking advantage of a period when Mars and Earth are favorably aligned.
The mission, whose name means “Questions to Heaven”, aims to enter Martian orbit seven months after launch and launch a small scout vehicle to study the planet’s surface.
It is the latest milestone in the Beijing space program, which has sent two rovers to the Moon and established satellite navigation, Beidou, to rival the GPS of the United States.
The National Space Administration said Tuesday that Tianwen-1, which left Earth’s gravitational field, “is currently in good flight condition, has balanced fuel, and is operating normally.”
The rover had traveled at least 1.5 million kilometers from Earth on Tuesday, the agency said, just a fraction of the 55 million km it must traverse before reaching Mars.
China launches Mars probe in space race with U.S.
© 2020 AFP
Citation: China’s Mars probe photographs Earth en route to the Red Planet (2020, July 28) retrieved on July 28, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-07-china-mars-probe- earth-en.html
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