MarsNews.com

China’s Tianwen-1 Mission Successfully Begins Mars Orbit

Tianwen-1 is now officially in orbit around Mars. (Chinese National Space Administration)

hina’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft successfully initiated its orbit around Mars, reports Zhao Lei for state-run media outlet China Daily. Tianwen-1 entered Mars orbit February 10 just before 8:00 p.m. Beijing time, reports Smriti Mallapaty for Nature.

The orbiter is carrying a lander and a rover that will attempt to touch down on the planet’s surface in roughly three months with the goal of studying Martian geology, soil and searching for signs of water, according to Nature. This achievement marks the first time China has travelled to another planet and its successful completion is a key step on the way to China’s ultimate goal of landing on the Red Planet for the first time.