China's Tianwen-1 probe has successfully landed on Mars. Recent reports said, the country lands its first pair of robots on the surface of the red planet early today and this has been confirmed on social media by state-affiliated media.
THE VERGE reported China is now the second country to do a successful Mars landing after it overcame an adventurous, "seven-minute landing sequence."
The Tianwen-1 spacecraft of China ejected a tie rover-lander bundle for a touchdown on Mars at around 7 pm, launching a mission to study the climate and geology of Mars.
The space mission marks the first independent trek of the country to the Red Planet, approximately 200 million miles away from this planet.
China's Space Mission
In the history of space, only NASA has successfully managed to land and run rovers on the planet in the past. Additionally, Mars 3 spacecraft of the Soviet Union landed on the planet and communicated for approximately 20 minutes in 1971 before it unexpectedly went dark.
China's mission, on the other hand, which involves three spacecraft that work together, is said to be ambitiously complex for a first-timer in a space mission. Meanwhile, Viking 1, the first United States mission in 1976, only involved a single lander deployed from its probe.
The landing of Tianwen-1 happened at Utopia Planitia, a flat swath of land on Mars, and the same site where the Viking 2 of lander of NASA touched down in 1976.
Following its touchdown, the lander will unfold a ramp and deploy the Zhurong rover of China, a six-wheeled solar-operated robot named after ancient Chinese mythology's god of fire.
The rover is carrying a suite of onboard equipment including a Mars-Rover Subsurface Exploration Radar, Mars Meteorology Monitor, Mars Magnetic Field Detector, and two cameras.
The Tianwen-1 Spacecraft
This Chinese spacecraft launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in China's Hainan province in July 2020, setting off on a seven-month journey to Mars.
In a statement it issued, the China National Space Administration said, the spacecraft trio has performed normally since it entered the Martian orbit in February.
The Tianwen-1 orbiter, clasping the rover-lander bundle, has been scoping out the Utopia Planitia landing site for more than three months, flying near the Red Planet every 49 hours in an egg-shaped orbital pattern also called elliptical orbit, said journalist Andrew Jones who covers the activities of China in space.
The mission's top scientists wrote last year, in Nature Astronomy, Tianwen-1' main task is to perform a global and wide-ranging survey of the entire planet through the use of the orbit and to send the rover to surface sites of scientific interests to perform detailed investigations along with high preciseness and resolution.
Furthermore, this approximately 240-kilogram rover is almost double the mass of Yutu Moon rovers of China. Essentially, Tianwen-1 is the name of the entire Mars mission, named after the "Tianwen" long poem, meaning, "Questions to Heaven."
It marks the most recent in a fast succession of advances in space discovery for China. As mentioned earlier, China became the first country in history to land and run a rover on the Moon's far side in 2019.
It completed a short lunar sample mission as well, in December 2020, launching a robot to the Moon and quickly returning it back to this planet with a cache of Moon rocks for examination.
A similar report is shown on The Curiosity Horizon's YouTube video below:
Check out more news and information on Mars on Science Times.