Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab


The China National Space Administration reports that its Tianwen-1 Mars probe carried out its first mid-course correction maneuver on Sunday morning.

China Daily reports that the maneuver was completed over a 20-second period of time using the spacecraft’s 3000 Newton engine.

During the probe’s seven-month spaceflight toward Mars, it will make several mid-course corrections and deep-space maneuvers to make sure it is precisely aimed at the planet.

Three-in-one spacecraft 

China launched Tianwen-1, the country’s first independent Mars mission, on July 23 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in South China’s Hainan province.

The five-metric ton Tianwen-1 is a three-in-one spacecraft – an orbiter, a lander, and a rover.

The spacecraft has begun to conduct its scientific operations as the Mars Energetic Particle Analyzer, mounted on the orbiter, has been activated and transmitted data back to the ground control. 

It is the first of the 13 scientific apparatus on the probe to start operating and will be the longest working device during the journey toward the Martian gravitational field.

At present, Tianwen-1 is moving toward the Mars at a speed of about 186,411 miles (300,000 kilometers) per day until it reaches the farthest spot on the Mars, which is about 400 million kilometers away from the Earth.

Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab


Candidate landing zone

After the probe enters orbit around Mars in February, Tianwen-1 will circle the Red Planet for two and a half months to investigate the candidate landing zone before dispatching the lander.

Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab



The landing has been scheduled to take place around May in the southern part of Mars’ Utopia Planitia, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).




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