China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft has just captured its first image of Mars as it’s scheduled to enter orbit around the Red Planet by Wednesday, February 10th. The image was captured at a distance of approximately 1.36 million miles (2.2 million kilometers) from Mars, and it shows a few notable features, including Acidalia Planitia, Chryse Planitia, Meridiani Planum, Schiaparelli Crater as well as Valles Marineris. Read more for a video and additional information.
Tiaenwen-1 has traveled 289-million=miles thus far during its 197 days in space and all of the spacecraft’s systems are in good working condition. This vast distance between Earth and Tianwen-1 means that there’s a communications delay of around 10 minutes, which means the spacecraft will need to carry out commands to start the braking burn by itself, with instructions being transmitted in advance from the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
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