Watch the haunting new video of the Red Planet here.
What a View
China has released incredible footage of its Tianwen-1 probe entering orbit around Mars.
The probe embarked on its seven month journey last summer, around the same time as the launches of NASA’s Perseverance rover and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency’s Hope orbital probe, both of which were also bound for Mars.
The small probe’s onboard cameras provide an incredible view of the Martian surface below. The footage, released by state broadcaster CCTV, is so detailed that you can make out individual craters and even the planet’s thin atmosphere.
Ready to Land
Tianwen-1, a five-ton orbiter with a lander and solar-powered rover in tow, entered Martian orbit on Wednesday.
The 530 pound rover will attempt to land on the Martian surface in May. If the perilous landing succeeds, it will spend about three Earth months studying the Red Planet’s soil and atmosphere — and China will become only the third country to softly land on the Martian surface, after the Soviet Union and the US.
Tianwen-1 is yet another testament to China’s enormous space ambitions. If all goes according to plan, the country will establish its own space station in Earth’s orbit as soon as next year.
In other words, the race is on. The two world powers are locked in a head-to-head contest — and if China’s efforts to explore the Martian surface are anything to go by, the race could end up being closer than expected.
READ MORE: China’s Mars probe sends back video of Red Planet[AFP]
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