An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft successfully landed Tianwen-1 on the surface of Mars on Saturday, state news office Xinhua announced, making China the second space-faring nation after the United States arrive on the Red Planet.
A Chinese spacecraft streaked down through the Martian sky on Saturday, becoming the country’s first probe to land on a planet other than Earth.
It is the first time in the world that orbiting and landing on Mars is completed in one launch mission https://t.co/D2yazJJJFw pic.twitter.com/fIDLcEgxjI
— China Xinhua Sci-Tech (@XHscitech) May 15, 2021
The Tianwen-1 spacecraft landed on a site on a vast plain known as Utopia Planitia, “leaving a Chinese impression on Mars interestingly,” Xinhua said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a message of congratulations to all individuals engaged with the mission.
“You were courageous enough for the challenge, pursued greatness, and set our country in the high-level ranks of planetary exploration,” he said. “Your outstanding accomplishment will everlastingly be scratched in the memories of the motherland and individuals.”
NASA Science Mission Directorate tweeted
Congratulations to CNSA’s #Tianwen1 team for the successful landing of China’s first Mars exploration rover, #Zhurong! Together with the global science community, I look forward to the important contributions this mission will make to humanity’s understanding of the Red Planet. pic.twitter.com/KexElIu8OH
— Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) May 15, 2021
The specialty left its stopped orbit at around 1700 GMT Friday (0100 Beijing time Saturday). The arrival module separated from the orbiter three hours after the fact and entered the Martian atmosphere, the official China Space News said.
It said the arrival process consisted of “nine minutes of dread” as the module decelerates and afterward slowly descends.
The official arrival time was 2318 GMT (0718 Beijing time), Xinhua said, referring to the China National Space Administration. The rover took over 17 minutes to unfurl its solar panels and radio wire and send signals to ground controllers in excess of 320 million kilometers away.
The rover, named Zhurong, will presently survey the arrival site prior to withdrawing from its foundation to conduct inspections. Named after a legendary Chinese lord of fire, Zhurong has six scientific instruments including a high-resolution topography camera.
It will study the planet’s surface soil and atmosphere. Zhurong will also search for signs of antiquated life, including any sub-surface water and ice, using a ground-infiltrating radar.
Tianwen-1, or “Questions to Heaven”, after a Chinese sonnet composed two centuries prior, is China’s first autonomous mission to Mars. A test co-dispatched with Russia in 2011 neglected to leave the Earth’s orbit.
The five-ton spacecraft blasted off from the southern Chinese island of Hainan in July last year, dispatched by the amazing Long March 5 rocket.
After over six months in transit, Tianwen-1 arrived at the Red Planet in February where it had been in orbit since.
On the off chance that Zhurong is successfully sent, China would be the first nation to orbit, land, and release a rover in its lady mission to Mars.
Tianwen-1 was one of three that arrived at Mars in February, with U.S. rover Perseverance successfully touching down on Feb. 18 in an immense depression called Jezero Crater, in excess of 2,000 km away from Utopia Planitia.
Expectation – the third spacecraft that showed up at Mars in February this year – is not designed to make an arrival. Dispatched by the United Arab Emirates, it is presently orbiting above Mars gathering information on its weather and atmosphere.
The first successful landing at any point was made by NASA’s Viking 1 in July 1976 and afterward by Viking 2 in September that year. A Mars test dispatched by the previous Soviet Union landed in December 1971, however, communication was lost seconds subsequent to landing.
China is pursuing an ambitious space program. It is testing reusable spacecraft and is also wanting to establish a monitored lunar research station.
In a discourse published on Saturday, Xinhua said China was “not hoping to seek leadership in space” however was focused on “disclosing the secrets of the universe and contributing to mankind’s serene use of space.”