China was the second country to send a scientific mission to Mars this summer.
Also earlier this week, on July 20, the Arab scientific probe Al-Amal (Hope) went to Mars. That launch was successful and was not only the first mission for the United Arab Emirates, but also for the entire Arab world. It now continues its 500 million kilometre journey to a neighbouring planet.
Just four days later, on 23 July, China launched its first Mars exploration probe, the Tianwen 1 (Questions to Heaven 1). This was reported by the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
To the neighboring planet fly three spacecraft – an orbital probe, a landing module and a rover, which should work on the “red planet” at least three months.
The Changzheng-5 (“Great Campaign-5”) launch vehicle was launched at 12:41 (7:41 Moscow time) local time from the Wenchang Cosmodrome on Hainan Island. The Chinese authorities reported that the launch was successful. It will take the probe seven months to get to Mars.
The mission involves entering Mars’ orbit, landing and moving across its surface. The first data the probe will be able to transmit to Earth by 2021. If all goes well, scientists will be able to study the atmosphere, terrain and geological features of the planet. But still the main task – to find signs of life on Mars and to understand whether the planet in the future will be suitable for people.