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China unveils global maps of Mars based on Tianwen-1 orbiter photos

China unveiled on Monday the first colour-coded global maps of Mars taken by the country’s first independent mission to explore the red planet.

The panoramic images were compiled from 14,757 photos obtained by the Tianwen-1 orbiter’s moderate resolution imaging camera between November 2021 and July 2022, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The maps will add to our knowledge of the red planet and improve planning for future missions, including China’s Tianwen-3 mission to return samples from Mars, the CNSA said during a ceremony to celebrate Space Day of China in the southeastern city of Hefei.


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