China recently launched its Mars exploration mission Tianwen-1. Separation of the payload from the second (or third?) stage can be seen in a post-launch news clip.

In this clip, the computer animation shows the second stage rotated until the payload end was pointing towards Earth before the separation.

What could be the rationale behind this maneuver?

  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't it seem in the video that the payload is separated looking away from earth? (assuming the camera is on the rocket stage) And the incorrect animation would be the issue. This still needs an educated answer though. +1 $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ I think the animation is wrong. Because you can see the Earth and the engine nozzles in the same view. Meaning the payload wasn't deployed whilst pointing towards Earth. Not only that, but when Tianwen-1 was deployed, there was no view of Earth, indicating it was deployed pointed away from Earth. $\endgroup$
    – Star Man
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 18:11


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