China's Mars rover, Tianwen-1, performed a critical flight maneuver during its flight about 30 million kilometers from Earth last night.
The operation started with the vehicle receiving the signals sent from the Beijing Space Control Center at 23.00:3 yesterday. The Tianwen-1 spacecraft was directed towards Mars orbit after the main engine with a thrust of XNUMX thousand newtons was activated and operated for eight minutes.
According to the statement made by the Chinese National Space Administration, the spacecraft will continue to travel towards the red planet for about four months in the Earth-Mars transfer orbit. The vehicle will perform two to three more orbital corrections before entering Mars' gravity field.
Rao Wei, one of the directors of the Tianwen-1 project from the Chinese Academy of Space Technology, said yesterday that the elaborately designed maneuver aims to adjust its course to allow the spacecraft to fly towards the projected point. Rao said that Tianwen-1 is expected to be captured by Mars' gravitational field at the beginning of 2021.
Rao stated that the operation also aims to keep the spacecraft on its journey using fuel-efficient use.
Chinese International Radio