China’s Tianwen -1 Mars Mission!

Though this year has been tough but it has
been a very major year for space explorationsand missions. A lot of major breakthroughs
occurred this year. No one would have believedthat a private company would send astronauts,
but SpaceX did it. Countries sent their missionsto mars for exploring the red planet and therefore
bringing us one step closer to the dream ofcolonising the Red Planet. Among the eight
planets in the Solar System, Mars is the mostsimilar to Earth and is also close by. It
therefore naturally becomes a high-prioritytarget for space exploration. Mars offers
a substantial and pragmatic opportunity toanswer key questions concerning the existence
of extraterrestrial life, and the origin andevolution of the Solar System, and to explore
the possibility of human habitation. Withthe start of this new decade, a new space
race has started. There is a race among countriesto send their probe to mars and that is clear
of the fact that USA and two newcomers UAEand China have sent their spacecrafts to mars. UAE
and China will contend to become the 5th nationto reach mars. We already have made a video
about the UAE Hope mission and USA’s Perseverancemission to mars and we link it in in our description
box, go check them out. In this video willdiscuss the Unique Chinese mars mission Tianwen-1.
Before discussing more about it lets takea step back and discuss how the summer of
mars has been?Tianwen-1 was the second Mars mission of the
month of July 2020. The United Arab Emirateslaunched their Hope mars mission on July 19,
2020, to study the martian atmosphere andclimate, which was launched by Japan’s H-2A
rocket. Like Tianwen-1, Hope   is historic.
It’s the first interplanetary mission everdeveloped by an Arab state. And the exciting
and competing summer of Mars isn’t overyet. NASA successfully launched NASA’s next
Mars rover, the 1,040 kg Perseverance, onJuly 30, 2020. So you might think that, why
now? Why are countries competing for goingto mars? Well, this question has many reasons.
We all know about the space race between theSoviet Union and United States of America
during the cold war too, send orbiters andlanders to moon and mars. A similar space
race has started today between all the majorcountries and companies. It’s clear that
our space explorations are continuing andexpanding in decades to come, and that there
are many who want to see humans building newsocieties on Mars sometime this century. Countries
that can prove technological prowess today,and contribute to our understandings of Mars’s
terrain and atmosphere, are in the runningfor political, military and ideological dominance
throughout the next decades of this century- just as they were in the first space race.
A significant reason that this new space racehas started not only between countries but
also private companies like SpaceX and BlueOrigin Since the space market is now a blooming
profitable market. Also, the clumping of launches is also because
of the orbital dynamics. Earth and Mars lineup properly for interplanetary missing for
just a few weeks once every 26 months andis the main reason all these three launches
were in the same month. (The European-RussianExoMars rover was supposed to join the launch
party this summer, but it suffered technicalissues and now must wait till 2022). All three
of these missions are scheduled to arriveat the Red Planet in February 2021. So when
the summer of Mars ends, we’ll still havea Red Planet winter to look forward to.  
China announced its planetary explorationprogramme beyond the Earth–Moon system in
2016. Benefiting from the engineering heritageof China’s lunar exploration programme,
the Chinese national strategy set Mars asthe next target for planetary exploration.
China’s first Mars mission is named Tianwen-1,and aims to complete orbiting, landing and
roving in one mission. Earlier China launchedits mission to mars with help of Russia in
2011, which failed completely, unable to reacheven the Lower Earth Orbit. The period from
2008 to 2014 was an interesting one, becausethe two Asian giants India and China were
competing in the space race and were planningto go to mars. With the help of Russia, China
Launched its first mission named Yinghuo-1. In November 2011, the Russian spacecraft Phobos-Grunt
defined for mars and Phobos, was launchedfrom Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on 8
November 2011 which failed later and Indiathen successfully reached Mars becoming the
fourth nation to do so. This year China successfullylaunched its mars mission Tianwen-1 successfully,
which is a unique mission compared to theprevious missions. From the first space probes
to fly by the planet in the 1960s to the planetaryorbiters and rovers of today, the United States,
Russia, Europe, Japan and India have developedMars exploration programmes to fulfil human
aspirations. And the Chinese spacecraft willface a tough competition from UAE’s Hope
mission for becoming the fifth nation to reachmars.  
The name Tianwei-1 means ‘question to heaven’,which is taken from the name of a poem by
Qu Yuan , one of the greatestpoets in ancient china. In the poem, Qu Yuan
raises a series of questions about the sky,the stars, and natural phenomena, showing
his desire for the truth, which perfectlyfits this mission. As with many Mars missions,
Tianwen-1 is about learning more about theRed Planet and, through that, for scientists
to learn more about our own planet. The spacecraftwas launched from the Wenchang Satellite Launch
Center on Hainan Island and ejected directlyinto the Earth–Mars transfer orbit using
the Long March 5 launch vehicle. China’sMars rover will probably attempt to land at
a site in northeastern Mars, according toa recent paper published just days ahead of
the mission’s launch. The paper, which waspublished last week in the journal Nature
Astronomy, was written by team members ofChina’s Tianwei-1 mars mission which aims
to send an orbiter and a lander/rover duoto the Red Planet.  The study reveals additional
details about Tianwen-1, outlining its intendedlanding area, science goals, and the names
of instruments aboard the spacecraft. It alsostresses the historic nature of the mission:
Not only is Tianwen-1 China’s first fullyhomegrown Mars mission, it’s also the first
to carry both a planetary orbiter and a rover. The Tianwen-1 probe, with a mass (including
fuel) of about 5 tonnes, comprises an orbiterand a lander/rover composite. The orbiter
will provide a relay communication link tothe rover, while performing its own scientific
observations for one Martian year. The orbitduring the scientific observation stage is
a polar elliptical orbit . The lander/rover will perform a soft
landing on the Martian surface some 2–3months after arrival of the spacecraft, with
a candidate landing site in Utopia Planitia,a huge basin formed by a large impact far
back in Mars’ history that was also theregion where NASA’s Viking 2 lander touched
down in 1976. According to areas defined inearlier statements on landing areas, China
had isolated a portion of the vast plain asa candidate landing area, running from Isidis
Planitia to the big volcano Elysium Mons. The low elevation of the area means there
will be more time and atmosphere for the entryspacecraft to slow down and safely descend
to the surface. The latitude, between roughly20 and 30 degrees north, is also suitable
for receiving enough sunlight to power theroughly 530-lb. rover. The
relatively smooth surface will also be conducivefor roving. The mission also benefits from
the engineering heritage of China’s  . The240 kg solar-powered rover is nearly twice
the mass of China’s Yutu lunar rovers andis expected to be in operation for about 90
Martian days. There are 13 scientific payloadsin the Tianwen-1 mission in total. The seven
instruments on board the orbiter comprisetwo cameras, the Mars-Orbiting Subsurface
Exploration Radar, Mars Mineralogy Spectrometer,Mars Magnetometer, Mars Ion and Neutral Particle
Analyser, and Mars Energetic Particle Analyser. The six instruments installed on the rover
comprise the Multispectral Camera, TerrainCamera, Mars-Rover Subsurface Exploration
Radar, Mars Surface Composition Detector,Mars Magnetic Field Detector, and Mars Meteorology
Monitor. As we have already mentioned earlier that
the Tianwen-1 mission is a unique, you allmight wonder why? Tianwen-1 is going to orbit,
land and release a rover all on the very firsttry, and coordinate observations with an orbiter.
No other interplanetary mission has done soin the past. Even NASA has either sent Orbiters
or Rovers, but China plans to do all the threetogether. If successful, it would signify
a major technical breakthrough. Scientifically,Tianwen-1 is the most comprehensive mission
to investigate the Martian morphology, geology,mineralogy, space environment, and soil and
water-ice distribution. The Tianwen-1 probeis expected to reach Mars around February
2021 and the scientific observation phasewill start in April 2021. However, China’s
rover will remain attached to the orbiterfor two to three months before attempting
its landing, according to the paper. It willalso be joined by the two other mars missions
NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover andthe United Arab Emirates’s Hope mars orbiter.
The international planetary science communitylooks forward to these exciting missions,
which will advance our knowledge of Mars toan unprecedented level. The mission takes
its inspiration and benefits from the engineeringheritage of China’s Change lunar exploration
program. The Chinese rover is expected to operate for
a period of about 90 martian days, accordingto the official announcement. The rover is
also twice the mass of China’s Yutu-2 rover,which successfully landed on the far side
of the moon. The Tianwen-1 orbiter will providea relay communication link to the rover and
will also perform its own scientific observationsfor one Martian year.
The Tianwen-1 orbiter will provide a relaycommunication link to the rover while performing
its own scientific observations for one Martianyear, according to the paper. (One sol is
about 40 minutes longer than an Earth day. One Martian year is 687 Earth days. ) Overall,
Tianwen-1 aims to take Mars’ measure ina variety of ways. To be specific, the scientific
objectives of Tianwen-1 include:1. to map the morphology and geological structure,2. to investigate the surface soil characteristics
and water-ice distribution3. to analyze the surface material composition,4. to measure the ionosphere and the characteristics
of the Martian climate and environment atthe surface, and5. to perceive the physical fields (electromagnetic,
gravitational) and internal structure of Mars,”informed the team members of the mission.
The orbiter will operate in a polar orbitin order to  map Mars’ morphology and geological
structure while also using the Mars-OrbitingSubsurface Exploration Radar instrument to
investigate soil characteristics and water-icedistribution. It will also measure the ionosphere
and the electromagnetic and gravitationalfields. It will investigate the surface soil
characteristics and the water-ice distribution. The rover will investigate the surface soil
characteristics and water-ice distributionwith its own Subsurface Exploration Radar.
It will also analyze surface material compositionand characteristics of the Martian climate
and environment on the surface. Though these countries are competing to reach
mars, they will overall help humans to understandthe Red Planet and fulfil the dream of colonising
mars. Soon we might witness the first manto mars, and we hope in the coming years we
might start its colonisation. The dreams arebig and the journey is tough but that’s
what the human civilisation is about winningand developing in every circumstance. So what
do you think about the ambitious Chinese marsmission? Will it be successful, as the mission
is one of its kind? Let us know what you thinkin the comment section below. And don’t
forget to like and share the video. And subscribeto our channel and press the bell icon to
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