The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Sunday that the country's Mars probe Tianwen-1 has travelled more than 400 million km and is expected to enter the Red Planet's orbit next month.
As of 6 a.m. on Sunday, the probe had flown in space for 163 days and was about 130 million km from Earth and about 8.3 million km from Mars, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the CNSA, the probe is functioning stably and is scheduled to slow down before entering Mars orbit in more than a month and preparing itself to land on the Red Planet.
Since its launch on July 23, 2020, the Mars probe has captured an image showing both Earth and the Moon, as well as taking several selfies. I
t has carried out three orbital corrections, a deep-space manoeuver and self-checks on multiple payloads.
The Tianwen-1 probe, weighing about five tonnes, consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover.
It is designed to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission.
After entering the Mars orbit, it will spend two to three months surveying potential landing sites, using a high-resolution camera to prepare for the landing in May.