China’s First Mission to Mars Could Launch This Week

China Tianwen-1 spacecraft is ready to launch on a Long March 5. It could launch on July 23, 2020.

China’s national strategy set Mars as the next target for planetary exploration after successful lunar mission. China’s first Mars mission is named Tianwen-1, and aims to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission.

The Tianwen-1 probe has a mass (including fuel) of about 5 tonnes. It has an orbiter and a lander/rover composite. The orbiter will provide a relay communication link to the rover, while performing its own scientific observations for one Martian year. The orbit during the scientific observation stage is a polar elliptical orbit (265 km × 12,000 km). The lander/rover will perform a soft landing on the Martian surface some 2–3 months after arrival of the spacecraft, with a candidate landing site in Utopia Planitia. The ~240 kg solar-powered rover is nearly twice the mass of China’s Yutu lunar rovers, and is expected to be in operation for about 90 Martian days.

The main task of Tianwen-1 is to perform a global and extensive survey of the entire planet using the orbiter, and to send the rover to surface locations.

SOURCES – China News, Nature, Global Times
Written By Brian Wang,

23 thoughts on “China’s First Mission to Mars Could Launch This Week”

  1. Well, to be fair, an ever-present central Chinese gov’t that crushes all Chinese innovation would merely be an explanation of his theory. In other words, your explanation doesn’t serve as an excuse…

  2. There is an element of truth to what you say, even as you undermine your (supposed) point by exaggerating…

  3. I’m a WN, and I think if it were as easy as just copying “our” tech, everyone would be sending probes to Mars. Also, if I’m reading the articles right, China’s mission is rather innovative, set to do things not yet done before – I don’t really follow space exploration closely enough to expound at length.

    That said, we’ll have to wait 7 months or so to see how successful the 2nd Chinese attempt will be. Good luck to them, I say – a bit of healthy competition is good, serves to keep a fire lit under our programs.

  4. Well, second attempted mission. It would be the first successful Chinese mission to Mars. I guess the Russians are the ones to blame for the first Chinese attempt failing, if you want to be a sticker about it…

  5. Fairly sure this guy’s a troll. Pretend you’re a national socialist and go around making them look stupid.
    We needed someone to balance out Lucca, who I’m still not convinced isn’t a troll himself, doing a super long con.

  6. They don’t want to crush innovation. They just want to crush people who overturn accepted hierarchies, people who don’t accept what they are told, and any sign of disrupting the current order or establishing new power centres.

    It’s just an undesirable, though 100% obvious, side effect that this results in crushing innovation that does not come in a planned, top-down, non-disruptive fashion from a deliberate program by existing senior members of the power structure.

  7. No one is going to care about China’s trifling space efforts when Musk has a 100 plus starship fleet in ten years.

    Stick that in your five year plan and smoke it commie!

  8. I was given to understand the Chinese invented nearly everything except the wheel for some reason. They had the printing press about 1000 years ago, and of course rockets which translated into canons.

    Perhaps “throughout history” is too strong a term. Maybe in the last century or so.

    Their current problem is similar to their historic problem. They have a powerful but paranoid central government that likes to control everything and crush innovation. One can only assume they made most of their discoveries despite the central government.

  9. Mars was a roman God, only Ares was Greek (although you can say that they are both the same, because the romans adopted the greek gods and they just changed their names).

  10. pretty sure both our countries pity the people that live in a place where they say “chaps”

  11. Given that China is ruled by the same sort of neurotic power addicts as the US, there is no need to wish them bad luck!

  12. Given that they already lost one probe on the failed Phobos-Grunt mission, they’re already at 0 for 1.

  13. Mars is notorious for eating probes sent there. I don’t have much confidence in China’s ability to pull this off. However if they do, they will attain a (probably short-lived) track record of 100% successful attempts to reach Mars.

    I’m hoping they surprise me.

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