China has already finished photographing the entire surface of Mars in high definition: this is the result

China has already finished photographing the entire surface of Mars in high definition: this is the result

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The United States is not the only country with active missions on Mars. While NASA’s Ingenuity and Perseverance get much of the attention and surprise us with their discoveries, China has managed to successfully deploy a rover and orbiter on the red planet. As if that were not enough, the Asian giant has announced that the mission, called Tianwen-1, you just completed your science goals, according to Xinhua.

Tianwen-1 arrived on Mars in February 2021. In May of that same year, the lander and rover successfully passed through the Martian atmosphere and landed on Utopia Planitia, a vast plain on the Red Planet. The orbiter, for its part, remained in orbit to support the mission by capturing images and other scientific data, as well as keeping the communication link with Earth operational.

Exploring Mars with a Chinese mission

During their mission, the rover and orbiter, which have a total of 13 science instruments, have obtained 1,040 GB of data, including high-resolution images of all of Mars. This is a huge amount of information that, according to the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA), they are still processing and will publish over the months.

Although we will have to wait to explore some of the most intriguing areas of Mars in detail, the CNSA has shared a series of initial images. These show us the peculiar Martian landscape, with its characteristic dunes of reddish orange dust, its volcanoes and craters, they even show us the south pole and the cliffs and ridges of the Valles Marineris. Let’s see.

According to the information shared by the agency, the cover image of this article corresponds to a capture of a mountain with a diameter of 456 km and a height of 18 kmwhere different circular geological collapses stand out.

Part of the south pole of Mars.

The orbiter also captured several images of the south pole, one of the areas of greatest interest to scientists. Some studies claim that it hides underground deposits of frozen water ice and carbon dioxide, known as dry ice. Others, on the other hand, discard that theory and affirm that the findings could correspond to volcanic rock.

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Valles Marineris, located to the east of the Tharsis region.

The geographical features of the Valles Marineris canyons were not left out of these initial captures shared by the CNSA. We are looking at an area that stretches 4,000 km from east to west. Its name is a tribute to NASA’s Mariner 9 probe, which discovered it in the 1970s.

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Arabia Terra, a mountainous region located in the Martian Northern Hemisphere

The Tianwen-1 orbiter also captured Arabia Terra, a huge mountainous region located in the northern hemisphere of Mars and considered one of the oldest terrains on the planet. There, craters and erosion caused over thousands of years dominate the landscape.

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Part of a huge 91 km Martian crater.

Lastly, we have an image of a crater approximately 91 km. The capture shows the geomorphological characteristics of its edge, although unfortunately this image, unlike the previous ones, has not been shared in color.

What’s next for the Tianwen-1 mission? With the arrival of Martian winter, as well as poor weather conditions, the rover entered a sleep mode on May 18. She will remain in that state for approximately five months, when she will re-activate to undertake other scientific explorations. The orbiter, for its part, will test its systems before starting to chase its next target.

China has detected signs

It should be noted that China is already preparing the Tianwen-3 mission, with which it hopes to bring samples of Martian soil to Earth in 2031. This is a very ambitious goal, since it is located two years before the Euro-American mission Perseverance manages to bring ours to our planet.

Current and future missions will help us continue to unravel the mysteries of Mars, a planet we could visit in the futureAt least that’s what Elon Musk and other major aerospace players believe. Of course, as we advance in the exploration of the red planet, we are also leaving space debris along the way.

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