China’s Tianwen-1 Mars Mission


There is always a race to be first does not matter whatever field it is. When Space exploration was in early-stage there was a race between the USA and USSR. But now many countries are interested in Space exploration of whom a recent example is China’s first Mars exploration mission Tianwen-1. It aims to complete orbiting, landing, and roving in one mission. If everything goes as planned then China’s Mars mission will be the first in the world to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission.

Since 2009 China has been working on Tianwen-1 mission which completes this year. On 23 July 2020,it launched successfully from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site and is expected to enter in Mars’s orbit in February 2021. The carrier rocket is LONG MARCH5 Y4, the biggest carrier rocket of China which is used to launch China’s TIANWEN -1 Mars exploration mission. It has a launch weight of 5000 kg of which the orbiter and rover weight is 3,175kg and 240kg respectively.

Tianwen-1 is a multi-stage mission. In the first stage, a rocket will establish its orbiter into Mars’s orbit then the orbiter will land the lander through parachute into Mars’s surface after that the rover inside the lander will make debut through a ramp from the lander to Mars’s surface.

The orbiter works as a communication link and the rover works as a sample collector. Total 13 instruments will examine and collect the samples from Mars in which six instruments fitted in the rover
and 7 in the orbiter. The orbiter will float in the orbit of Mars for 23 months and the rover will work for three months on the surface of Mars. The orbiter has a high-resolution camera and a radar. It will map the surface and search for water and the rover will study and send data of the composition of soil and collect atmospheric data.

The rover has 4 solar panels in the shape of butterfly wings for power needs. The solar cell can convert 30% of its solar energy into electricity and rover has to work at night so it needs more power. So
scientists used a chemical named N-undecane. It is solid in nature but when it absorbs the sun’s heat, a meltdown takes place during day time and generate energy, 80% of energy will be stored for the night.

Rover will land on the plains of Utopia Planitia believed to have been an ocean in past. So it will be easy for the rover to conduct the aerial survey of that area.

Another mission for exploration on mars

After china’s Tianwen-1, there are two more Mars mission waiting to be launched. They are UAE’s Hope and USA’s Perseverance. Three missions for Mars are scheduled between mid-July and mid-August
because there is an event in space called Mars Opposition — the day when Sun, Earth, and Mars are aligned which is considered to be the best time/launch window to launch spacecraft for Mars mission.
After all, it is the time when Mars is closest to earth and this route will be fuel-efficient.

But according to Zhang Rongqiao, Chief architect of China’s Mars mission, “We have to launch 2 months ahead of mars opposition so that after 7 months when the speed of aircraft and mars revolution overlap then the spacecraft will be captured by the gravity of Mars and orbiter enters in the Mars orbit”. He is the Chief Designer of China's 1st Mars Exploration Mission. "We scheduled this moment six years ago and we've been fighting for it for that long. We've achieved such a good result”, he rejoices. The entire research and development team has fought for this achievement. This will lay a solid foundation for the
probe's final procedure, which is circling and landing.

Fact about mars

Mars is the fourth planet of our solar system which orbits the Sun. It is half the size of the Earth and its mass is about 11% of the Earth. The gravity on Mars is 38% as compared to Earth which means an object of 1kg of weight on Earth ionly weighs 400g on Mars. Mars has the highest mountain of the solar system, 21,229m high. Mars has two moons- Phobos and Deimos. Mars is very similar to Earth, for instance, it has 24 hours in a day, 4 seasons in a year.

There has been 44 Mars exploration program but most of them failed. The very first Mars exploration mission was launched by USSR in 1960, marsnik 1 — a flyby mission which failed. After that 10 missions were planned but failed. In 1971, NASA's Mariner 9 was considered the first successful Mars exploration
mission when it landed on Mars.

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