By Hu Zhe
BEIJING, Nov. 17 -- As of the early morning of November 17, 2020, China's first Mars probe Tianwen-1 has been in orbit flight for 116 days, with a flight mileage of over 300 million kilometers and a distance of about 63.8 million kilometers from the earth, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). The probe is in stable condition with normal energy balance. Some sub-systems have completed self-checks, and all systems are working well.
During its flight, Tianwen-1 has carried out three mid-course orbital corrections and a deep-space maneuver. In early November, multiple subsystems completed the first in-orbit self-check with normal results.
It is expected that the spacecraft will reach Mars and begin the orbit capture in February 2021. After about two to three months’ preparation, it will conduct deorbiting and take landing trajectory in May 2021. The lander and rover will be separated from the orbiter and make a soft landing on Mars. After that, the rover will leave the landing platform to explore the planet.