China’s Tianwen-1 moves closer to Mars


China’s Tianwen-1 probe successfully carried out an orbital maneuver on the far side of Mars, entering its polar regions on Monday, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

A 3000N engine was ignited to make the probe’s trajectory pass the two poles of Mars. The periareion, which refers to the point in the orbit that is closest to Mars, was adjusted to 265 kilometers, CGTN cited the CNSA as saying.

The robotic probe will conduct several more orbital adjustments before making way to the parking orbit, a temporary orbit in which Tianwen-1 will remain stationary to find a suitable place to land on Mars.

China launched its first independent mission to Mars on July 23 as it geared up to take the leadership in space missions across the world with the US, European and Indian spacecraft either orbiting Mars or on its surface.

The probe had been blasted off on the Long March 5 Y-4 rocket from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in the southern island province of Hainan.

It successfully entered the Mars orbit on February 10 after a nearly seven-month travel from Earth.

Chinese spacer engineers hope the lander carrying the rover is likely to land on the Red Planet in May or June.

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