Artwork of Tianwen-1.
Credit: CNSA


China’s Tianwen-1 Mars orbiter has produced video selfies as it circles the Red Planet.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) released the videos on Monday.

One shows a glimpse of the Martian north polar ice cap captured by the orbiter, also recording the process of the orbiter adjusting its solar panels.

Photo credit: CNSA/PEC/Inside Outer Space screengrab


The second footage records the entire process of how the connecting bar between the orbiter body and the camera is unfolding. The selfie stick is over 5 feet (1.6 meters) long when unfolded. This ultra-light bar weighs only 0.8 kilograms and is made of shape memory composite that can unfold itself at a certain temperature.

Photo credit: CNSA/PEC/Inside Outer Space screengrab


One-year anniversary

As noted by China Central Television (CCTV), the permanent caps at both Martian poles consist primarily of water ice. Frozen carbon dioxide accumulates as a comparatively thin layer about one meter thick on the north cap in the northern winter.

The Tianwen-1 Mars probe, as of Monday, has been working in space for 557 days. Its one-year anniversary is coming up; the craft reached Mars orbit on February 10, 2021.

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