China’s Tianwen-1 Rover Mission Blasts Off for Mars

China’s first domestic mission to Mars is underway.

The Tianwen-1 mission began on Thursday, July 23, when a powerful Long March-5 rocket blew up from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island in southern China at 12:41 p.m.

The rocket carrying an orbiter, lander and rover is a remarkably ambitious payload as no mission has ever attempted to send three such craft to Mars at the same time. If everything is determined, they will reach the red planet in February 2021.

A long March-5 rocket carrying an orbiter, lander and rover as part of the Tianwen-1 mission to Mars on March 23, 2020 from Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan Province, southern China. Noel Celis / Getty Images

Shortly after the lift-off, China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) confirmed that the initial stages of the mission had gone to plan and that the payload was now moving to a distant planet.

When it arrives next year, the lander attempts to haul the rover to the surface of the Martyr, where it will spend time studying its surroundings for evidence of both current and past life, and also assess the planet’s environment. The orbiter, meanwhile, will try to learn more about the atmosphere and climate of Mars using its scientific instruments, and will also map the planet’s surface.

While the launch was aired live on Chinese television, CNSA pursued its space missions in a different way to its American counterparts, creating interest through delightful content posted by NASA on its busy social media channels There was very little publicity compared to the strategy. Even today’s launch time was kept in wraps, with space fans left to speculate about exactly when the rocket would explode. However, for those looking to learn a little more about the mission, the animation below, which appeared recently on Chinese television, provides an idea of ​​the design of the rover, and how to get it to the planet’s surface by the lander Will go. .

The Tianwen-1 mission is China’s first solo attempt to reach Mars, and it comes nine years later when it attempted to send an orbiter named Yinghuo-1 with Russia’s Phobos-Grunt mission. But the launch failed soon after the lift was stopped, leaving the spacecraft stranded in orbit until it returned to Earth two months later.

China’s ambitious mission to Mars by the United Arab Emirates – as well as a week before NASA’s MARS 2020 Perseverance Rover mission – began due to an explosion from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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