Tianwen-1: China’s Mars Probe

29 July 2020

China launched a Mars probe on July 23rd, aiming to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission, and taking the first step in its planetary exploration of the solar system.

A Long March-5 rocket, China's largest launch vehicle so far, carries the spacecraft with a mass of about five tonnes. The launch took place at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of south China's island province Hainan.

The journey to Mars will take six to seven months and the probe is expected to reach the Red Planet around February 2021.

After it enters 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.

Ma Zarchi Nay Win from China Media Group, CRI (Myanmar Department) explained more on the Tianwen-1.

"China's very first Mars probe Tianwen-1 was launched on July 23. This spacecraft is designed to orbit the red planet and survey the situation of the planet's surface and conduct scientific detection. The purpose of the Mars space probe is to understand better about the solar system and the origin of the universe as well as to seek solution on how life on earth began and what the future holds. The solution, once identified, will give us better comprehension on the universe and it will also help in solving issues the earth will go through. Tianwen-1 will mark a great milestone for the history of China's space industry and it's also the only success in the international space industry so far."

The mission will study the Red Planet's morphology and geological structure, soil characteristics and distribution of surface water ice, surface material composition, atmospheric ionosphere and surface climate and environment, as well as physical field and internal structure of Mars, said Liu Tongjie, spokesperson of China's first Mars mission and deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center.

The mission has attracted the active participation of institutions and organizations from home and abroad, including the European Space Agency, the French National Center for Space Studies, and Argentina's National Space Activities Commission.

The curtain of Mars exploration missions have been liftoff with the launch of "Hope", the United Arab Emirates's spacecraft, in Japan three days ago. What's next after China's Tianwen-1 is the U.S. "Mars 2020" mission, which is slated for July 30.

Mars is one of the planets in the solar system that is closest to the Earth and has the most similarities to our natural environment. The red planet has always been one of the destinations in humans' space adventures.

Arker Kyaw
Photo Credit - CGTN