Chinese space station in flight to Mars took a selfie in deep space
China's Tianwen 1 space station detached a small camera on its way to Mars to take some of its photographs and send them to Earth.
The automatic interplanetary station (AMS) "Tianwen-1" is now in distant space at a distance of more than 24.1 million kilometers from Earth. The flight is proceeding normally. The spacecraft flew over 188 million kilometers in two months after launch.
Engineers of the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA), in the process of preparing the AMS for flight, planned to implement an unusual way to take a selfie of the device using a disposable camera. To do this, they equipped the Tianwen 1 with a small camera with two wide-angle lenses positioned on opposite sides of the camera. This instrument had only one purpose - to secede from AMC on the National Day of the People's Republic of China (October 1) and try to take some photos of its parent station.
After separation, the camera took one frame per second, rotating and flying away from the Tianwen-1. A few seconds after the separation, the camera transmitted the photographs taken to Tianwen-1 via Wi-Fi and was lost in space. After a while, the Tianwen-1 communications system broadcast the station's selfie to Earth.
In fact, it is an expensive disposable camera now become another man-made and unmanaged objects in space. The cost of this experiment was not announced by CNSA. CNSA has officially released only two selfies of Tianwen 1 taken with this camera.
Earlier on July 23, 2020, the Changzheng-5 (CZ-5) heavy launch vehicle successfully orbited the Tianwen 1 spacecraft to explore Mars. "Tianwen-1" (translated this means "questions to the sky") consists of an orbiter and a landing platform with the first Chinese rover, it has 13 scientific instruments onboard. According to the flight plan, Tianwen 1 will reach Mars in early February 2021 and will begin to conduct detailed surveys of the planet's surface to select the most appropriate landing site. Two months after entering orbit, the descent module should land on the surface of Mars, and the rover inside it will go to explore the planet.