What is Tianwen-1? Know about China's first successful Mars mission here
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
- Tianwen-1 arrived at Mars on Wednesday, February 10, 2021
- The mission was launched on July 23, 2020
- The rover is not expected to land until May or June, 2021
- The literal meaning of Tianwen is Questions to Heaven
- It arrived in Mars orbit after completing a 202-day, 475 million kilometre journey through deep space
- The spacecraft is carrying 13 payloads that is seven orbiters and six rovers
- It consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover
- The orbiter would land in intended landing site in a region known as Utopia Planitia
- 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.
- The rover also carries a panoramic camera similar to one aboard China's Yutu 2 rover
- 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:
- China launched Tianwen-1 along with the UAE’s Hope mission and NASA’s Perseverance rover mission in July.
- The launch system was developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT)
- 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
- Hope has also sent the picture of the Red Planet
Objective of the mission:
- The mission aims to study the thickness and also the sub layer distribution on the Red planet.
- The space craft weighs 5 tonnes and was launched on a Long Mach 5 rocket.
- The goal of the mission is complete study of Martian topography and determination of the composition of surface material, climate and environment.
- China would be the third country to achieve a Mars landing after the USSR and the US.
- Chinese mission would be the first to be placing a ground-penetrating radar on the Martian surface.
- 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.