June 19, 2024

China’s Tianwen-1 Spacecraft Took a Selfie Using a Tiny, Secondary Spacecraft

Keep in mind how Chinas Tianwen-1 spacecraft launched a remote video camera to take an image of itself during its flight to Mars, back in late 2020? Now in Mars orbit, Tianwen-1 has done it again, releasing another small remote electronic camera. NASAs Mars Odyssey spacecraft was imaged twice by the electronic camera aboard NASAs Mars Global Surveyor in 2005. It Global Surveyor also took a photo of the European Space Agencys Mars Express, and these were the very first pictures of any spacecraft orbiting Mars ever taken by another spacecraft orbiting Mars. Mars polar ice cap is see in this image from a remote electronic camera deployed by the Tianwen-1 orbiter.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) released three images, consisting of a shot of the spacecraft in orbit with Mars in the background, an image of Mars northern ice caps, and the first full photo of the orbiter.
A remote selfie cam took this picture of the Tainwen-1 spacecraft in orbit of Mars. Credit: CNSA.
While this isnt the very first time one spacecraft has taken an image of another spacecraft at Mars, this concept of bringing your own selfie camera is quite darn innovative.
NASAs Mars Odyssey spacecraft was imaged twice by the cam aboard NASAs Mars Global Surveyor in 2005. It Global Surveyor also took a photo of the European Space Agencys Mars Express, and these were the first images of any spacecraft orbiting Mars ever taken by another spacecraft orbiting Mars. Credit: NASA
In addition to Tianwen-1 having its own remote cameras, the buddy Chinese Mars lander and Zhurong rover put a wireless remote cam on the ground to take images of both the rover and lander.
A wireless electronic camera took this group picture of Chinas Tianwen-1 lander and rover on Mars surface area. Credit: Chinese Space Agency
While our very first response is that every spacecraft must deploy a friend with a cam to enable us to see how the spacecraft is doing, this also may be a risky idea. Also envision a free-flying little electronic camera hovering around JWST– and then unintentionally crashing into it.
Mars polar ice cap is see in this image from a remote camera released by the Tianwen-1 orbiter. A portion of the orbiter can be see on the. Credit: CNSA.
It went into Mars orbit in February, 2021. This made China the 3rd country, after the United States and Russia, (when it was the USSR, in 1971 and 1973), to effectively carry out a Mars landing.
CNSA reported that as of January 1, 2022 the 1.85-meter-tall, 240-kilogram Zhurong had actually worked on Mars and for 224 days– far outliving its three-month life span. Mission controllers at the China National Space Administration stated the orbiter is in excellent condition and still has sufficient energy.
Chinas Tianwen-1 spacecraft on its method to Mars in 2020, as seen from a remote electronic camera that was launched from the spacecraft. Image Credit: CNSA/CLEP
Like this: Like Loading …

Keep in mind how Chinas Tianwen-1 spacecraft released a remote cam to take a picture of itself throughout its flight to Mars, back in late 2020? Now in Mars orbit, Tianwen-1 has done it again, releasing another mini remote electronic camera. Other than this time, the planet Mars belongs to the view.
The images are sensational.