BEIJING (AFP) – China’s first Mars probe has pulled back a picture of the Earth and the Moon as it moves toward its destination, the country’s space agency said on Tuesday.
The National Security Administration of China said the image appeared as two celestial bodies in the empty darkness of space, which was moved 1.2 million kilometers (746,000 miles) away from Earth, three days after launching the Tianwen-1 mission on Thursday had gone. .
China joined the United States and the United Arab Emirates this month to launch a mission on Mars, taking advantage of a period when Mars and Earth are aligned favorably.
The mission, given a name, meaning “question to haven”, aims to enter Mars orbit seven months after launch and release a small rover to study the planet’s surface.
It is the latest milestone in Beijing’s space program, which has sent two rovers to the moon and installed a satellite navigation, the Beidou, to rival the United States’ GPS.
The National Space Administration said on Tuesday that Tianwen-1, which has left Earth’s gravitational field, “is currently in good flight condition, has balanced fuel and is functioning normally.”
The rover had traveled at least 1.5 million kilometers from Earth on Tuesday, the agency said – a fraction of the 55 million kilometers it would have to cross before reaching Mars.