Crowd Celebrates as China Launches First Mars Rover Mission

From the Moon to Mars: China's long march in space

China launches ambitious mission on journey to Mars

"Mars was an ominous sign in ancient China", said Li, who studies archaeoastronomy.

"The similarities between Mars and Earth make us wonder whether the "demise" of Mars could be the future of Earth", Li Geng, an astronomer at the National Astronomical Observatory in Beijing, told Sixth Tone. The LN-200S has been used on all previous Mars Rover missions including 2003's Spirit and Opportunity, and 2012's Curiosity, which is still operating nearly eight years beyond its initial two-year mission.

The country became one of three, after the USA and UAE, to use a launch window to blast off to Mars.

Northrop Grumman's LN-200S IMU will be mounted deep inside the Rover, providing data during the ground mission.

Well, that's about to change, NASA's latest mission, Perseverance, comes with not only one, but two microphones. Hope successfully lifted off July 19 aboard a Japanese rocket.

Nasa's Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission is scheduled to launch at 7.50am EDT on Thursday, July 30 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Two or three months later, the lander/rover duo will touch down on the Martian surface within a large plain called Utopia Planitia. The spacecraft's name means "questions to heaven" and was inspired by Qu Yuan, one of the greatest poets of ancient China.

In addition, there are another six devices installed on the rover to detect the situation underneath the Martian surface, including the distribution and composition of the soil, and the existence of groundwater. Starting back in 2002, Chinese engineers began developing a lunar rover named Yutu, which ultimately deployed in 2010 and went on to become the longest operational lunar rover in history. Tianwen-1 was successfully launched July 23.

Researchers will have a a lot better prospect of confirming everyday living on Mars if they can assess the evidence utilizing all the analytical resources out there in Earth laboratories, as opposed to just the tiny suite of instruments carried by a robot rover. It will land on Mar's Jezero Crater, a giant basin that is believed to have once contained water in February 2021, NASA said. If China's mission is successful, it will elevate the nation's place in the global space community. Named Perseverance, this Mars rover is almost identical to the Curiosity rover that has been on Mars since 2012.

Perseverance is outfitted with a pair of robotic arms, nine drill bits, a rotating storage carousel and 43 metallic tubes that will be used to target, extract and seal rock and sediment samples for future study inside laboratories on Earth. Perseverance is equipped with heavy duty wheels, which will help it traverse the rugged Martian surface.

The possibility of alien life on Mars has long captured the attention of the public.

- How many Mars exploration missions have been carried out?

America's six-legged Perseverance rover is the size of a small auto and has the goal of storing rock and soil samples that can be returned to Earth in future missions.

Latest News