Successful Launch of a First Mission to Mars by China

People watch a big screen displaying the launch of the Hope Probe from Tanegashima Island in Japan at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai United Arab Emirates on July 20

China to launch unmanned probe to Mars today

This is just one of a number of ambitious space projects by China, but it has competition.

China launched its first fully homegrown Mars mission on Thursday as it attempts to join the United States in successfully landing a spacecraft on the red planet.

The Long March-5 carrier rocket took off around 12:40 pm (6:40 am CET) from an island south of China's mainland.

The craft is expected to enter the orbit of Mars around February 2021.

After the landing, the rover will be released to conduct scientific exploration with an expected lifespan of at least 90 Martian days (about three months on Earth), and the orbiter, with a design life of one Martian year (about 687 days on Earth), will relay communications for the rover while conducting its own scientific detection.

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The flight comes on the heels of the successful launch of a United Arab Emirates Mars orbiter, named Hope, from Japan on Sunday. Some authorities, like Dr. Sumner, say that the presence of the gas on Mars is "not a surprise" since it has all the geological processes it desires to generate the gas without the need of lifestyle. Dozens of other Mars missions have also failed.

"As long as (Tianwen) safely lands on the Martian surface and sends back the first image, the mission a big success", Chen said. The Opportunity, for example, operated for nearly 15 Earth years (8 Mars years) - far beyond its scheduled 90-day mission - and the LN-200S continuously operated throughout the full span of that Rover's journey.

It will take seven months to cover the distance from the Earth to Mars, which ranges from 55 million to 400 million km due to their different orbits.

Tianwen-1 will use a combination of a capsule, parachute and a retro-rocket to burn off entry speed and slow itself to a stop right at the surface.

Dr Rain Irshad is autonomous systems leader at RAL Space in the United Kingdom and is involved in Nasa's Insight lander on Mars.

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China has already sent two rovers to the Moon. Yang Liwei became the first Chinese astronaut in 2003, and previous year, Chang'e-4 became the first spacecraft from any country to land on the far side of the moon.

In 2011, China made a bid with Russian Federation. Europe has tried twice to land spacecraft on Mars, failing both times. Does this indicate there is or was life on Mars, or Mars is the past or the future of Earth?

Details: China's mission, called Tianwen-1, is created to conduct extensive geological research and mapping of the Red Planet, according to an article written by people involved in the mission published in Nature Astronomy last week.

Perseverance, which is a in the vicinity of twin of Curiosity and four times heavier than its Chinese cousin, is the most advanced rover of them all.

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