Tianwen-1, China’s big Long March 5 rocket sent to Mars
Finally China established its first mission to Mars.12:40 local time (04:40 GMT) from Wenchang spaceport on Hainan Island the big robot with six wheels encapsulated in a protective probe and it was lifted of Earth by the Long March rocket.The rocket is supposed to be arrive in orbit the beginning of February.The name of the rocket “Tinwen-1” is translated in English to “Questions to Heaven” and its has no plans to land on the surface for the next two or three months.
This strategy was used back in 1970s successfully by the American Viking landers.They called it wait and see because the first want to examine the atmospheric conditions on the Red Planet before doing anything else.Otherwise if the engineers won’t asses the conditions landing will be very dangerous and risky because no one know what the unpredictable planet can show.The surprising thing is that Tianwen-1 is not the only mission which is setting to in the next few weeks.The are totally 11 missions in the space recently.Another popular mission was launched on Monday,the United Arab Emirates(UAE)’s mission with the name Hope satellite.This is historic because its also UAE’s first mission to the Red Planet.They don’t have any previous experience in the space and it’s a big step for their nation.Also “Hope” is expected to land in February.Another big thing is expected next week because US space agency(Nasa) is willing to send of its next generation rover with the name Perseverance.
The are where the rover is planning to land is located on an flat plain near the Utopia basin which is north from the Mars’s equator.The engineers will study the region's geology in details before the reach the surface.The Chinese rocket looks familiar to us and that is because it similar to Nasa’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers from the last decade.It’s not very heavy, weights around 250 kg and it is powered by solar panels.There is a mass attached to the rocket in which they store all the cameras to take pictures and some other navigation systems.They also carry five more instruments that will help them to evaluate the mineralogy of the rocks and some other stuff to help them search water on Mars.To investigate the surface is not even the half of the mission because the ship that is herding on the the rover to the space will study the planet from orbit and it will use seven more instruments which are remote-sensing.
If we take a look into the past , the statistics are not that great because half of the explorations actually have failed.Actually the first mission that China send to space – “ Yinghuo-1” stalled in Earth orbit.But China also has some successful lunar rovers Chang’e Yutu .One of them made the first soft landing on the Moon ever and this happened last year.Now the Chinese engineers are confident enough to believe they are ready to have a crack at the "seven minutes of terror".This is the time that is needed for a spacecraft to make a trip from the top of the Mars’ atmosphere to the ground.
Although the process of entering the planet,the reduction of speed and land is very hard and risky Chinese mission has a great chance of doing well with it and the process to succeed.This is the opinion of Liu Tongjie according to the Reuters news agency, who is the mission’s spokesman.
The technique that Tianwen-1 will use to reduce the entry speed, slow down and enter the surface is to use a parachute, retro rocket and a capsule.So if all these goes well the mechanism of landing itself will install a ramp so the rover can begin the mission.The Chinese engineers want to spend about 3 months outside of the robot.The duration of one day on Mars is exactly 24 hours and 39 minutes.
Many astronauts are admiring China because their space agency was launched in the 90s and it only took them like 30 years to send an orbiter,lander and rover to Mars.