China’s Mars probe sends video selfie from Red Planet’s orbit to welcome the Lunar New Year

China’s Mars probe sends video selfie from Red Planet’s orbit to welcome the Lunar New Year
China Mars probe selfie video
Bryan Ke
February 1, 2022
China’s Tianwen-1 probe recently wished everyone a Happy Lunar New Year with a video selfie while orbiting Mars. 
The short video, released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Weixin (WeChat) on Monday, was taken using an extendable arm with a camera attached at the end, according to IFLScience. The video reportedly features the Red Planet’s North Pole and several glaciers visible on its surface.

The probe’s arm, which can extend up to 1.6 meters (approximately 5.25 feet), was originally intended to be used for monitoring the orbiter’s instruments. The extendable arm was reportedly unfurled after Tianwen-1 entered the Red Planet’s orbit, according to CGTN.
Aside from wishing everyone back on Earth a Happy Lunar New Year, the video also showcases the “good condition” of the probe, such as its 3000N engine and propellant tank.
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Tianwen-1, whose name means “Questions to Heaven,” has been orbiting Mars for 557 days as of Monday. As of today, China’s Mars rover named Zhurong has roamed the Red Planet for 255 Martian days, with a total of 1,524 meters (approximately 5,000 feet) of travel distance.
Launched in July 2020, China’s Mars mission aims to study the Red Planet’s geology and magnetic field through its Tianwen-1 probe and Zhurong rover, Nature reported.
The mission made China the third country to have landed a spacecraft on Mars’ surface after the United States and Russia. The latter was the first country that successfully landed a rover on Mars during its Mars 3 mission in December 1971, Discover Magazine reported.
Featured Image via CGTN
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