How China’s First Mission to Mars Could Be a Gamechanger
On Thursday, China launched its massive mission to distant Mars, which is expected to be the first successful landing of a Chinese spacecraft on the surface of the Red Planet..
The mission, known as Tianwen-1, launched on Thursday a rover, lander and orbiter aboard a Long March 5 rocket launched from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island. This is China’s first solo mission to Mars since a previous attempt at a joint mission with Russia failed a few years ago..
The State Corporation of China Aerospace Science and Technology has announced a successful launch and said the Tianwen-1 rover has been successfully upgraded to «given orbit», said in the official message on the WeChat app.
Meanwhile, the US prepares to launch NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover, scheduled for July 30..
China’s Tianwen-1 will arrive at its destination seven months after launch. The orbiter will revolve around Mars, while the rover and lander will land on the surface of the Red Planet.
Scientists at the world’s second largest economy hope to map the geology of Mars, explore the characteristics of its soil and water ice, study the composition of surface material, and gain a deeper understanding of the planet’s environment..
The US is the only country to have landed on Mars and launched a rover there, so if China’s mission is successful it will be a great achievement..
In recent years, China has paid great attention to space. Earlier this year, President Xi Jinping called on industrial sector make china «great space power as soon as possible», reported by the government newspaper China Daily.
But China has faced some setbacks in achieving its goals on Mars. In 2011, he tried to launch the Yinghuo-1 orbiter on a Russian spacecraft launched by a Ukrainian rocket. But the launch failed in the end.
In 2017, the second launch of the Long March 5 rocket ended in failure.
But China has also shown some success recently. It was the first nation to land in a spaceship on the so-called dark side of the moon. And earlier this year, China launched the last of the group’s satellite to complete its global navigation system, called Beidou..
China’s mission to Mars begins after the UAE successfully launched its Mars probe earlier this month «Hope», and the US is preparing for its own mission to the Red Planet.
The storming of Mars is time bound. About every 26 months, Mars and Earth are closer to each other than usual, allowing for launches.
The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, designed to search for life on the planet, is slated to launch in the United States on July 30. According to NASA, the rover will look for signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the distant past, as well as signs «ancient microbial life».