Tianwen-1 is the second time this week to launch a Mars probe, following the launch of the UAE Orbiter on a Japanese carrier rocket on Monday, while the United States plans to launch its most advanced Mars probe, perseverance, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, next week. If all goes well, astronomy one will take seven months to reach Mars and search for groundwater and possible evidence of ancient life on Mars.
This is not the first time China has tried to carry out a Mars mission. In 2011, during the joint Mars launch mission with Russia, the Chinese orbiter failed to get out of earth orbit after launching from Kazakhstan, and eventually burned down in the atmosphere, thus losing contact. This time, China chose to launch independently. Instead of launching several Mars rovers at the same time as China.
In recent decades, Chinas space program has made rapid progress. Yang Liwei became the first Chinese astronaut to enter space in 2003, and change-4 became the first earth spacecraft to land on the back of the moon last year. Conquering Mars will bring China into the space elite club. Its going to win China a lot of prestige, said Dean Cheng, an expert on Chinas aerospace programs at the Heritage Foundation in Washington
This is Chinas first independent visit to another planet, aiming to gain a global leading position in space and demonstrate its technological strength and ambition. After all, landing a probe on Mars is notoriously difficult. Since 1976, only the United States has successfully landed the probe on the surface of Mars, eight times. NASAs insight and curiosity probes are still on mission, and six other probes are in orbit to explore Mars.
In our history, we have never seen three unique missions to Mars at the same time, because each mission can be called a scientific and engineering miracle, said Thomas zelibor, chief executive of the space foundation
Its exciting to see what China is doing, said Dr rain Irshad, head of the UKs ralspace autonomous system. Their space agency was founded in 1993, but less than 30 years later, they launched orbiters, landers and rovers to Mars at the same time. They have arranged training plans for Changes mission to the moon, and they have achieved their goals again and again in an impressive way.
Although China is joining the United States, Russia and Europe in building a satellite based global navigation system, experts say China is not trying to surpass the United States in space exploration. Instead, the Heritage Foundation believes that China is in a slow race with Japan and India to establish itself as an Asian space power.
To be sure, NASA started Mars exploration more than 50 years ago. Brian Weeden, program director of the secure world foundation, a Washington based space policy research group, said China was largely validating a lot of what the United States has done over the past few decades.. (small)
Source: Wang Fengzhi, editor in charge of Netease science and Technology Report_ NT2541