China's Mars probe Tianwen-1 expected to enter the red planet's orbit next month

China's Mars probe Tianwen-1 expected to enter the red planet's orbit next month
Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Mark Armstrong with CCTV
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

China's Mars probe spacecraft is due to enter the red planet's orbit within a month after traveling 400m kilometres since its launch in July

ADVERTISEMENT

China's space probe Tianwen-1 is expected to enter Mars' orbit next month after traveling more than 400m km since its launch on July 23rd last year.

The probe has flown in space for 163 days and is currently around 8.3m km from Mars, according to the China National Space Administration.

The flight marks the start of the country's independent planetary exploration mission.

"The probe is flying faster and faster as it gets out of the influence of heliocentric gravity," explained Li Zhencai, the Deputy Commander of the project. "At present, the speed is basically stable at around 22km per second relative to Earth."

That means that the probe is covering about 1.8km per day.

The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover.

It's expected to touchdown on Mars in May 2021, about three months after arriving in the red planet's orbit.

The distance between Mars and Earth changes periodically, from 50 million kilometres at its nearest and 400 million kilometres at its farthest.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

German chancellor rules out decoupling from China but calls for quality cooperation

China's population dropped for a second straight year

Taiwan voters choose their next president