China’s space agency Space.com released a video footage from its spacecraft Tianwen-1 as it made a close approach to Mars after reaching the Red Planet this week.
The video footage shows Tianwen-1 circling Mars on Wednesday, two days after it successfully entered the planet’s orbit in Beijing’s latest ambitious space mission.
The five-tonne Tianwen-1 which translates as “Questions to Heaven” includes a Mars orbiter, a lander and a solar-powered rover.
China has received and put together a series of images taken during this approach and created two remarkable scenes, seen in a single video.
Tianwen-1 launched around the same time as a rival US mission, and is expected to touch down on the surface of the planet in May.
It is the latest step in Beijing’s space programme, which aims to establish a crewed space station by 2022 and eventually put an astronaut on the moon, and has opened up a new, extra-terrestrial arena for US-China competition.