The probe of China’s first Mars mission Tianwen-1 has sent back its first deep-space selfie with the Chinese national flag, to celebrate the country’s National Day, which coincided with the Mid-Autumn Festival this year.
Released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Thursday, the selfie shows a bright national flag, with the pattern made of special material and process. The CNSA said the flag measures 39 centimeters in length and 26 centimeters in width, a size slightly smaller than an A3 piece of paper, and weighs 144 grams.
The images during flight were taken by a measurement sensor installed on the outer wall of the probe.
It can be separated from the probe under the ground control and takes one image per second with its two wide-angle lenses. The photos can be transmitted to the probe via WiFi communication and then transmitted back to the ground by the probe.
The probe was successfully launched on July 23 onboard a Long March 5 carrier rocket. It has successfully completed multiple tasks including capturing photos of the Earth and the Moon, completing two mid-course orbital corrections, and conducting self-check of the payloads.
As of the start of Thursday, the probe, in sound flight condition, has traveled about 188 million kilometers and is about 24.1 million kilometers away from the Earth.