Tianwen 1 enters Martian orbit

By Zhao Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-02-10 21:01
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The China National Space Administration releases mid-flight images of Mars probe Tianwen 1 as the country's National Day coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival on Oct 1, 2020. It is the first time that Tianwen 1 took selfies. [China National Space Administration/Handout via Xinhua]

China's Tianwen 1 robotic probe entered Martian orbit on Wednesday night after a lengthy interplanetary voyage, becoming the first Chinese spacecraft to reach the red planet.

The spacecraft's 3,000-Newton-thrust orbital-control engine was activated at 7:52 pm and fired for about 15 minutes to conduct a crucial "braking" operation to decelerate and help the probe be captured by Martian gravity.

The probe then moved to an elliptical Martian orbit with a perigee of about 400 kilometers and a circling period of 10 days and starting flying around the planet, according to the China National Space Administration.

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