An unmanned Chinese spacecraft has collected footage of the planet Mars. Among other things, images were first taken of the “South Pole” on the Red Planet, according to reports Chinese lunar exploration project Wednesday.
Tianwen-1 reached Mars in February 2021. A robotic rover was placed on the surface while an unmanned spacecraft surveyed the planet from space. Chinese state media reported, Wednesday, that since early last year, the spacecraft has orbited the planet 1,300 times.
Among the images taken from space, China’s first images of the south pole of Mars, where almost all of the water supply on the planet is located.
In 2018, a probe led by the European Space Agency (ESA) discovered water under the ice at the planet’s south pole. Locating groundwater is central to determining the potential for life on Mars, as well as determining whether it could provide a permanent source of human exploration.
Other images include the 4,000-kilometre Valles Marineris Valley, and Arabia Terra, highlands in northern Mars dotted with archaeological craters. Tianwen-1 also transmitted high-quality footage of the rim of the Large Maunder crater.
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