Tianwen-1 successfully reaches Mars and makes China the sixth country to reach the neighboring planet
Yesterday was hope from the United Arab Emirates and today has been Tianwen-1 de China. The Asian spacecraft has achieved successfully enter the orbit of Mars, as confirmed by the National Space Administration of China. With great goals ahead, Tianwen-1 will study the neighboring planet in the coming months, an achievement that few nations and entities can boast of.
Every two years the orbits of Mars and Earth are aligned so that the distance between the two planets is as short as possible and the one that can best be used to launch spacecraft efficiently. It happened last summer of 2020, in a window of approximately two months in which different nations they took the opportunity to launch their ships. Now we are seeing the consequences of that, a total of 10 frantic days in which three countries seek to conquer Mars. The first was the United Arab Emirates, now China and soon the United States.
A probe, a lander, a rover
In the last hours and after traveling around 474 million kilometers, the Tianwen-1 spacecraft performed the maneuver to enter the orbit of Mars. Tianwen-1 fired the control motor to counteract its cruising speed and thus slow down as it entered orbit. With this it achieved a gradual entry into the orbit of our neighboring planet. Now it will stay there for a few months and then proceed to descend to the surface of it.
If everything goes as estimated, in May this year the spacecraft will try to land on the surface of Mars. After analyzing the Utopia Planitia area during these next few weeks, the lander and the rover will undock from the probe and make the descent. China is the first entity to send all three elements together to Mars: a probe, a lander and a rover.
China’s goal is to explore and track Utopia Planitia in search of ice. It is believed that the area contains ice in its subsoil and consequently possible traces of life from the past. They are also looking to see if this ice serves as a potential resource for long-term human missions on Mars.
If you are successful, China will become the second country, after the United States, to land and operate a rover on the Martian surface. A complex feat that has taken years and even decades of investment and development. Throughout this time China has grown as one of the great superpowers in space exploration. Among his most recent achievements is the arrival to the hidden side of the moon (first country to achieve it) or the intense and fleeting mission to bring samples from the moon (third country to get it).
Via | The New York Times