The Chinese Space Administration announced the success of the unmanned space probe, “Tianan-1”, to enter the orbit of Mars after it cut off a six and a half months’ journey from Earth in China’s first independent mission to the Red Planet.
The first mission sent by China to explore Mars
The probe, Tianon-1, will attempt in May or June to launch a capsule carrying a 240-kilogram raft in a rapid seven-minute descent into a broad flat in the northern hemisphere of Mars known as Utopia Planetia.
If the landing of the Tianon-1 probe is successful, the solar powered rover will explore the surface of Mars over a period of 90 days, study its soil and look for signs of ancient life, including any water and snow beneath its surface.
This is the first independent mission China has sent to explore Mars since a probe it launched in cooperation with Russia failed to leave Earth’s orbit in 2011.
Launch of the Tianon-1 probe
China launched an unmanned probe to Mars named “Tianon-1” last July, loaded with scientific instruments to monitor the atmosphere and surface of Mars and search for any signs of water and snow.
China’s unmanned probe to Mars, called “Tianon-1”, meaning “questions to the sky,” includes an orbiter, a lander on the planet’s surface, and a rover.
The launch was carried out using the giant “Long March 5” missile, and the Chinese probe carried a number of scientific instruments to monitor the atmosphere and surface of Mars and search for any signs of water and snow.
The Tianan-1 probe is one of three to reach Mars this month. The Hope Probe, successfully launched by the UAE, entered the planet’s orbit on Tuesday. The Hope probe will not land on the planet’s surface, but rather will collect data on its weather and atmosphere. The American Precursor probe, which weighs a ton, is expected to reach the planet on February 18.
It is noteworthy that in 2003 China became the third country to send a human into space with a missile of its own making, after the former Soviet Union and the United States.