The Chinese research probe Tianwen-1, which was launched into space in July of last year, has already covered about 400 million kilometers and will reach Mars orbit in February this year.
Tianwen 1 was launched on July 23, 2020, atop the Long March 5 carrier rocket from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on Hainan Island. The spacecraft has been in flight for 163 days. It is located 8.3 million km from Mars and 130 million km from Earth. The trajectory of the probe to Mars is not a straight line, but an arc. That is why the distance from the probe to the Earth is less than the actual path it traveled towards the Red Planet.
The position of the probe in space remains stable. Once it reaches the orbit of Mars, it will begin to slow down and eventually enter the orbit of the planet. It will then prepare for landing.
The probe will work in its orbit for almost three months. In May, a module with a rover will separate from the probe and land in the Utopia region on Mars, the largest impact crater in the solar system. After carrying out the necessary checks, the rover will leave the platform and begin to explore the planet.
The purpose of the mission is to study the morphology and geological characteristics of the surface of Mars, search for deposits of ice and sedimentary rocks, study the ionosphere, magnetic field, and the internal structure of the planet.