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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

China's Mars probe Tianwen-1 snaps 'selfies' on its way to the Red Planet after releasin


China has released the first set of 'selfies' taken by Tianwen-1, the Chinese spacecraft currently travelling towards the Red Planet as part of the country's first Mars exploration.

Images show the probe, consisting of a golden orbiter and a silver lander, dazzling in the darkness of the universe more than two months after leaving Earth.

The photos were captured by a 680-gram camera installed on the outer wall of Tianwen-1 after the probe released the tiny device into space.

Tianwen-1, named after a 2,000-year-old Chinese poem that ponders on stars and planets, consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover and weighs 530 pounds (240kg).

It was blasted into space aboard a Long March-5 on July 23, marking China's first Mars mission as the country seeks to race Russia and the US to become a major space power.

The unmanned space probe is due to arrive on the Red Planet next February after a seven-month, 34-million-mile voyage.

As of Wednesday, it is more than 24million kilometres (15million miles) from Earth en route to the red planet, the National Space Administration said in a post.

The images released by the Chinese authorities on Thursday were the first set of 'selfies' taken by the unmanned space probe.

After receiving commands from Earth, the on-board camera was released by Tianwen-1 into space and took one picture every second with its two wide-angle lenses installed on each side of the device.

The images were then sent back to Tianwen-1 via Wi-Fi and then dispatched to Earth.