Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-02-24 01:45:00 –
Beijing >> China states that the Tianwen-1 spacecraft has entered a temporary parking orbit around Mars in anticipation of landing a rover on the red planet within the next few months.
The China National Space Administration said the spacecraft would perform operations to adjust its orbit in Beijing time early Wednesday morning and stay in the new orbit for the next three months before attempting to land. In the meantime, it maps the surface of Mars and uses cameras and other sensors to collect more data, especially about planned landing sites.
It was after the US Perseverance Rover landed near the ancient delta of Jezero Crater last Thursday looking for signs of ancient microscopic life.
After the successful landing of Tianwen-1, China will be the second country to deploy spacecraft on Mars after the United States. A Chinese solar car, about the size of a golf cart, collects data on groundwater and looks for evidence that the Earth may once have a microscopic life.
The title of the ancient poem, Heaven, means “the quest for the truth of heaven.”
It is famous for the difficulty of landing a spacecraft on Mars. About 12 orbiters missed the mark. In 2011, the Chinese orbiter to Mars, which was part of Russia’s mission, did not deviate from Earth’s orbit.
China’s attempts include parachuting, rocket launching, and airbags. The proposed landing site was a vast rock-studded plain called the Utopia Planitia, where the US Viking 2 lander landed in 1976.
Orbiters from the United Arab Emirates arrived before Tianwen-1 arrived on Mars on February 10. All three latest missions were launched in July to take advantage of the close collaboration between Earth and Mars, which occurs only once every two years.
Tianwen-1 is for China’s secret military space program, which first put astronauts into orbit around the Earth in 2003 and brought the moon rocks back to Earth for the first time since the 1970s last year. It represents the most ambitious mission. China was also the first country to land a spacecraft behind the moon in 2019.
China is also planning to build a permanent space station, a lunar landing mission and a permanent research base on the moon, but no date has yet been proposed.
On Monday, a giant Long March 5B Y2 rocket was moved to the Wenchang satellite launch site in Hainan Province for assembly and testing before launching Tianhe, the core module of the space station. The launch is scheduled for the first half of this year and is the first of 11 missions scheduled for the next two years to build the station.
China is not, in part, a participant in the International Space Station, as claimed by the United States.
The space program is a source of great national pride in China, and Tianwen-1 has gained particularly strong support from the general public. Tourists flock to tropical Hainan Island to see the launch, while others visit a simulated Martian colony in a desert location with white domes, airlocks, and spacesuits.
China’s Mars craft enters parking orbit before landing rover Source link China’s Mars craft enters parking orbit before landing rover