China’s Mars probe Tianwen-1 leaves Earth’s gravitational field, sends back photo of Earth, moon: CNSA

By Deng Xiaoci Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/28 19:16:31 Last Updated: 2020/7/28 20:16:31

Photo: Courtesy of China National Space Administration

Tianwen-1, China’s first Mars probe, has smoothly flown more than 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth, leaving Earth’s gravitational field, and entering planned interplanetary orbit, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said on Tuesday.

According to a press release the CNSA provided to the Global Times on Tuesday, the spacecraft is operating properly. Flight control and data communication is underway in an orderly and clear fashion.

The probe also sent a picture featuring the Earth and moon upon looking back from some 1.2 million kilometers away from Earth, after it started its optical navigation instruments on Monday.

The Earth and moon both appear in a crescent shape, as per the picture. 

China successfully launched the probe via a Long March-5 carrier rocket from Wenchang Space Launch Center located in South China’s Hainan Province on Thursday.

The probe mission aims to achieve orbiting, landing and roving on the Red Planet all in one go. Tianwen-1 is scheduled to land on Mars around May 2021.

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