(CNN) – The Chinese space agency announced, on Wednesday, that after more than a year on the surface of Mars, the Chinese probe Tianwen-1 has captured images covering the entire Red Planet.
Tianwen-1, which means “Search for Heavenly Truth,” was launched in 2020 and landed on Mars last May, when the Zhurong rover, which was on board, began its mission to patrol and explore the planet as the probe orbits it.
The Chinese National Space Agency said, in a statement, that the probe completed all the tasks assigned to it, including taking medium-resolution images covering the entire planet.
The images, which the space agency posted on social media, show the rugged landscape of Mars: dusty red dunes, shield volcanoes, archaeological craters, Antarctic ice cap, slopes and hills of the Valles Marineris canyons, one of the largest canyons. grooves in our solar system.
The images were taken by the probe, which orbited Mars 1,344 times, and captured the planet from all angles, while the rover was exploring the surface, the US space agency said.
The six-wheeled rover carried scientific instruments on its journey, gathering information about the geological structure, atmosphere, environment and soil of Mars. The agency said that the probe collected 1,040 gigabytes of raw scientific data, which was processed by scientists on the ground and handed over to research teams for further study.
China’s National Space Agency said it has shared orbiter flight information with NASA and the European Space Agency, and the scientific data will be made available to international scientists “in due course.”
Due to the low temperatures during the Martian winter, as well as poor sand and dust conditions, the rover went into sleep mode on May 18, which will continue throughout the harsh season before its expected awakening in December, when it will enter its landing zone. In early spring, which brings better weather.
The orbiter will continue to conduct tests and prepare for future missions, according to the space agency.
Before China’s success with Tianwen-1, only the United States and the former Soviet Union had landed spacecraft on Mars, but India, the European Space Agency, and the United Arab Emirates had all sent spacecraft to enter the planet’s orbit.
With Tianwen-1, China was the first country to attempt to send an orbiter and rover on its first self-produced mission to Mars. NASA, for example, sent several orbiters to Mars before attempting a landing.