science

China’s Tianwen-1 probe to land on Mars in May or June

Photo released on March 4, 2021 by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) shows a high-resolution image of Mars captured by the country's Tianwen-1 probe. (CNSA/Handout via Xinhua)

  Photo released on March 4, 2021 by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) shows a high-resolution image of Mars captured by the country's Tianwen-1 probe. (CNSA/Handout via Xinhua)

BEIJING, March 4 (Xinhua) — China’s Mars probe Tianwen-1 is traveling at a speed of 4.8 km per second in the Mars orbit, and is expected to land on the red planet in May or June, a senior space expert said on Thursday.

The probe is functioning normally and has sent home China’s first high-definition images of Mars, which contain a large quantity of scientific information, said Bao Weimin, director of the Committee of Science and Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

The probe will survey the topography of the pre-selected landing area and conduct weather observation along the flight routes to avoid dust when landing on Mars, said Bao, who is also a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body.

Nearly 50 Mars missions have been launched globally, but approximately two-thirds have failed, said Bao, adding that although China’s Mars exploration began late, the probe is designed to be highly efficient and innovative, aiming to complete orbiting, landing and roving operations in one mission. Enditem

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