China took an independent mission to explore Mars' surface. The country was going against impossible odds and ambitiously sent out a fully equipped rover to do the exploration, which has reportedly succeeded.
The "Tianwen-1" spacecraft has been the subject of space talk in these last two years, primarily because China was aiming the impossible: to land a rover on the Red Planet's surface. The Verge reported that until Friday, only NASA has made successful landings on the planet, such as their Soviet Union's Mars 3 spacecraft in 1971. However, connection with the spacecraft lasted no more than 20 seconds before shutting down.
Mars exploration is incredibly difficult. Sending a craft from Earth takes months of travel, and the Red Planet features a scorching atmosphere that makes entering and descending on its surface nearly impossible. Moreover, it was China's first attempt at landing!
China Mars Mission 2021
China took the challenge head-on with their Tianwen-1, which translates to "Question to Heaven." After a seven-minute descent on the Martian land called Utopia Planitia, China's lander would deploy a six-wheeled solar-powered robot named after the "God of Fire." The Zhurong rover carries two cameras, a Mars-Rover Subsurface Exploration Radar, Mars Magnetic Field Detector, and Mars Meteorology Monitor to begin its Mars exploration
YouTuber Seeker explained the whole mission in detail with their video.
Space reported that the space mission is being covered through China's state media and news reports, so keep an eye out for the English-language translations coming in soon. Although China has committed to broadcast the events to the public, no news or live videos are currently found.
Instead, it is recommended to look for updates through other web services. The Twitter feed offers real-time updates on the mission and its current developments. Users like @AerospaceCorp regularly tweet on tracking activities for Tianwen-1. Reports on the news feed include the launch since last year and a few orbit predictions on the rocket's reentry.
However, Jonathan McDowell, a well-known tracker for news on astronomy and space launches, tweeted some breaking news. "...official per Chinese govt news agencies - Tianwen-1's lander is on Mars."
So I'm calling it' it's official per Chinese govt news agencies - Tianwen-1's lander is on Mars. Still no details (landing time, actual rather than planned coordinates, etc.)— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) May 15, 2021
Tianwen-1 Probe Lands on Mars
News is spreading in, primarily through Twitter threads, that the Chinese space probe Tianwen-1 and its Mars landing a success!
Details are still being researched, such as the landing time, landing coordinates, and status of machinery. Unfortunately, there is no update through English official news sites yet.
However, a news post from the Chinese Weibo website made a post of the Tianwen-1 and its successful landing.
Now, viewers will have to wait on the update if China maintains its signals connecting to the probe and if the space exploration through the Zhurong rover will also succeed. China hints at taking back some Martian soil samples and a lot of detailed pictures to study during this space exploration.