Home News World News China launches first independent Mars probe, calls it ‘Questions to Heaven’

China launches first independent Mars probe, calls it ‘Questions to Heaven’

China on Thursday launched its first independent Mars probe, a milestone within the nation’s bold area programme which goals to have an area station by 2022. If profitable, the probe, named Tianwen-1 – which in Mandarin means “Questions to Heaven” – will be a part of a global neighborhood of explorers on Mars, comprising the US, Europe, Russia, India, and soon the UAE which launched a mission to the crimson planet on July 20.

The launch was deliberate for years however comes within the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which China appears to have introduced under management, and the worst floods it is experiencing in many years – the launch carries a present of power for the worldwide neighborhood particularly the western powers.

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China’s first Mars probe Yinghuo-1 launched in 2011 had failed. Yinghuo-1, launched in November 2011, two years later than initially deliberate from Kazakhstan on a Russian spacecraft, crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 2012.

On Thursday, Chinese official media reported {that a} Long March-5 rocket, the nation’s largest launch car, carried the 5-tonne spacecraft from the Wenchang Spacecraft launch web site on the coast of southern China’s Hainan province at 12:41 pm.

“About 36 minutes later, the spacecraft, including an orbiter and a rover, was sent into the Earth-Mars transfer orbit, embarking on an almost seven-month journey to the red planet,” the China National Space Administration (CNSA) was quoted by official news agency, Xinhua.

The Mars mission is known as Tianwen-1 from a poem written by Qu Yuan (about 340-278 BC), a number one poet of historic China. “The name signifies the Chinese nation’s perseverance in pursuing truth and science and exploring nature and the universe,” said the CNSA.

The Mars rover, which is expected to work on Mars for at the very least 90 Mars days (greater than three months on Earth), will perform patrol exploration and analysis on geomorphic landforms of Mars, Bao Weimin, a tutorial with the Chinese Academy of Sciences advised Xinhua in June.

“A safe landing on Mars is the most difficult and risky part of the mission and the lander carrying the rover will be slowed down through four steps,” said Bao who can be the director of the Committee of Science and Technology under the CNSA. The complete touchdown course of will take about seven to eight minutes, Bao had said.

Last November, China had efficiently mounted an experiment simulating the method of a probe hovering, avoiding obstacles and descending to land on Mars. In January 2019, China’s Chang’e-Four probe landed on the far aspect of the moon, making it the first spacecraft to contact down on the a part of the moon, which is rarely seen from earth. China had lauded India’s Mars mission when it was launched in 2014.

The profitable mission to Mars was not solely India’s delight but additionally that of Asia, China had then said, including that it was a landmark on this planet of area exploration.

“We congratulate India on the Mars satellite entering orbit (of the planet) successfully,” international ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, had said in 2014.

“This is the pride of India and the pride of Asia and a landmark progress in humankind’s exploration of outer space. So we congratulate India on that,” Hua had added.

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