It should be noted that in the second half of July, three missions will be sent to Mars – a few days ago, the ship was launched by the United Arab Emirates, and on July 30, NASA will launch the “Perseverance”. The reason for this is that during this period Mars is close to Earth and missions have to travel relatively short distances to reach it.
The Chinese mission is called “Tianven-1”, which means “search for heavenly truth”. The launch took place from the island of Hainan, with the Long March 5 rocket, the largest among China’s space rockets.
The head of the mission, Zhang Xue, told China’s state broadcaster CCTV that the mission had been successfully launched.
According to the plan, the five-ton Tianven-1 will land in February 2021 after a seven-month journey on Mars and 55 million kilometers.
The mission includes a Mars orbiter, a static apparatus, and a spacecraft exploring the planet’s soil.
“Given that this is China’s first attempt, I do not expect this mission to find something that the United States has already failed to do,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Since the late 1990s, NASA has already sent four spacecraft to Mars.
Next will be Perseverance, a sports car-sized spacecraft that traces ancient microbial life and collects rock samples brought to Earth by another mission in 2031.
According to McDowell, “Tianven-1” is more like a “Viking” in terms of scale and ambition, NASA’s Mars mission from 1975-1976.
In the wake of the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, China has spent billions of dollars on military space programs.
“China’s involvement in the Mars race will change half a century of US domination there,” said Chen Lan, an independent analyst.
China has made great strides over the past decades; In 2003 he sent humans into space. The Asian state also plans to launch a permanent space station in Earth orbit by 2022.
China has already sent two moons to the moon. Among them, China became the first country to successfully launch a spacecraft last year. წ. On the dark side.
Lunar missions have given China the experience of piloting ships beyond Earth orbit, but Mars is a different story altogether. Longer distances mean longer journeys and therefore more accuracy.
Most of the dozens of missions to Mars since the 1960s have failed. These included missions from the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, and India.
“Tianven-1” is not the first attempt to reach China on Mars. In 2011, the planned mission with Russia was terminated prematurely because the launch failed.
This time Beijing is trying to do it alone.