What is Tianwen-1? Know about China's first successful Mars mission here

China has launched its mission Tianwen-1 to Mars which has successfully sent pictures of the Red planet. Know all about the mission, the launch and other details here
Created On: Feb 15, 2021 18:53 IST
Modified On: Feb 16, 2021 11:07 IST
Mars Mission of China
Mars Mission of China

Why in News?

China's first ever mission to another planet has been successful this year. The Tianwen-1 spacecraft has made a close approach to Mars and sent back pictures from the red planet. It would be soon landing in the Red Planet and studying its surface and climate. Take a look at the details of the space craft and the mission below. 

Tianwen-1: Important dates

  1. Tianwen-1 arrived at Mars on Wednesday, February 10, 2021
  2. The mission was launched on July 23, 2020
  3. The rover is not expected to land until May or June, 2021

About Tianwen-1: 

  1. The literal meaning of Tianwen is Questions to Heaven
  2. It arrived in Mars orbit after completing a 202-day, 475 million kilometre journey through deep space
  3. The spacecraft is carrying 13 payloads that is seven orbiters and six rovers
  4. It consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover
  5. The orbiter would land in  intended landing site in a region known as Utopia Planitia
  6. Tianwen-1 is roughly 240 kilograms. It's solar-powered rover is carrying science payloads to investigate surface soil characteristics and search for potential water-ice distribution with a ground penetrating radar. 
  7. The rover also carries a panoramic camera similar to one aboard China's Yutu 2 rover
  8. The Tianwen-1 orbiter would be studying the Red Planet's surface with medium- and high-resolution cameras. It would also use a sounding radar, and make other detections with a magnetometer and particle detectors.

About the launch:

  1. China launched Tianwen-1 along with the UAE’s Hope mission and NASA’s Perseverance rover mission in July. 
  2. The launch system was developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT)
  3. During this launch window, Earth and Mars were aligned at their closest points in two years, which means using less fuel to reach the planet. Also Read| Chandrayaan-2, India's second Moon mission: All you need to know
  4. Hope has also sent the picture of the Red Planet


Objective of the mission:

  1. The mission aims to study the thickness and also the sub layer distribution on the Red planet. 
  2. The space craft weighs 5 tonnes and was launched on a Long Mach 5 rocket. 
  3. The goal of the mission is complete study of Martian topography and determination of the composition of surface material, climate and environment. 

Other Details:

  1. China would be the third country to achieve a Mars landing after the USSR and the US. 
  2. Chinese mission would be the first to be placing a ground-penetrating radar on the Martian surface. 
  3. It would be able to study local geology, as well as rock, ice, and dirt distribution.


‘Yinghuo-1’ Mars mission, which was China’s earlier mission, had piggybacked on a Russian spacecraft. It had failed as it could not leave the Earth’s orbit which caused it to disintegrate over the Pacific Ocean in 2012.

Read| NASA's Dragonfly Mission to Titan in search of origins and signs of life


Which is China's first interplanetary mission?

China's first interplanetary mission that has been successful is Tianwen-1

What does Tianwen mean?

Tianwen means "questions to heaven"

Which rocket was used to launch China's Tianwen-1

Long Mach- 5 has been used to launch Tianwen-1
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