China’s Tianwen-1 is entering Mars’ orbit for parking

China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft entered orbit the Parking Mark on Wednesday after performing an orbital maneuver, according to China’s National Space Administration.

At 6:29 a.m. (Beijing time), Tianwen-1 entered parking orbit, the closest point to the planet was 280 km, and the farthest point 59,000 km. It will take Tianwen-1 about two Martian days to complete the cycle (Mars day is approximately 40 minutes longer than Earth Day), CNSA said.

The Tianwen-1, including the orbiter, lander and rover, will be in orbit for about three months.

The CNSA added that all cargo in orbit will be included for scientific research. A medium resolution camera, a high resolution camera and a spectrometer will perform a detailed survey of the topography and dusty weather of the pre-selected landing area in preparation for the landing.

On July 23, 2020, Tianwen-1 was launched from the Wenchang spacecraft in the island province of Hainan in southern China.

The probe travels through space for 215 days and is currently about 212 million km from Earth. It entered orbit around Mars on February 10, and made two adjustments to its orbit on February 15 and 20.