The Chinese space mission Tianwen-1 has left for Mars

The Chinese space mission Tianwen-1 has left for Mars

The Chinese space mission for the Red Planet has taken off successfully. It will arrive in February 2021

(photo: Getty Images) After Hope, the mission of the United Arab Emirates, it was the turn of Tianwen-1. The Chinese space mission left for Mars at 4:41 GMT (6:41 AM Italian time) on 23 July 2020 from the base of Wenchang on the island of Hainan. The launch of the Long March 5 rocket was successful and under the eyes of crowds of onlookers and enthusiasts. Tianwen-1 is expected to arrive at its destination in February 2021, placing an orbiter, a lander and a rover at one time. The goal, of course, is to unravel the mysteries of Mars, from the soil to the atmosphere to the search for traces of alien life.

What the Tianwen-1 mission includes

With the Tianwen mission -1, whose name means "search for heavenly truths", China is attempting a truly exceptional feat: bringing an orbiter, lander and rover to Mars at the same time - all equipped with advanced tools to study the Planet in detail red.

The orbiter will study the atmosphere for a Martian year (687 Earth days). Among other instruments, it will also be equipped with two cameras, surface radar and a detector to study the magnetic field of the red planet. It will also be able to exchange communications between Earth and the surface rover.

The lander and the rover are expected to land a few months later in the Utopia Planitia region in the northern hemisphere of the planet, where it landed in 1976 also the NASA Viking 2 mission. The region is covered by a layer of ice and one of the objectives of the rover (which should work for 90 Martian days) will be to study it to better understand its distribution and whether it can be a source of water for future settlers.

China to the conquest of Space

If this mission is successful, China will recover completely from the failure of the mission Yinghuo-1 in 2011. On that occasion, the Russian rocket that was supposed to lead the superpower of the asian Mars had technical problems and was not able to escape the earth's gravity.

“Tianwen-1 orbiterà, will land and release a rover in the first attempt and will coordinate observations with the orbiter,” wrote the members of the team in an article in Nature Astronomy which outlines the main objectives of the mission. “No mission in the planetary has never been implemented in this way. In the case of success, will be an important technical progress” .

China in the last twenty years has created a space program, and launching the project of their own space station and sending into orbit its own astronaut. Also has brought on the Moon two rovers, one of which (Yutu-2) is located on the hidden side of the Moon, where nobody had ever been before.

Nasa, this time, chasing

30 July should be the time of the mission Perseverance of Nasa , the last agency that will be able to take advantage of this window of time favourable to the launch, when the Earth and Mars are closest. The next will be between 26 months. Nasa wants to send a new rover on the red Planet, similar to Curiosity . The new vehicle perlustrerà the crater Lake , an ancient dry lake that could preserve fossils of micro-organisms martians. Or who knows.

And for the first time in a helicopter , baptized Ingenuity , could fly in the atmosphere of Mars.



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