Launching of Tianwen-1. Source: Internet

Launching of Tianwen-1. Source: Internet

On May 15, 2021, Tianwen-1 touched down at its pre-selected landing area in the southern part of Utopia Planitia, becoming China’s first rover to land on a planet other than the Earth. It marks another important milestone for China’s space exploration.

Tianwen-1 is the first step of China’s planetary exploration program. It is the first Mars rover that can orbit, land and probe on the red planet in one mission.

Mars exploration is not only an engineering breakthrough but also one in planetary science. Tianwen-1 has carried 13 scientific payloads with it, 6 of which are on the rover. To achieve specific scientific goals, the orbiter and the rover Zhurong, which has just landed, will conduct an integrated space-ground observation. Specifically, the research will focus on “whether the Martian environment is suitable for life”, and will include studies on Mars’ soil environment, mineral composition, magnetic field evolution, geological evolution, atmosphere, water, among others. These studies, once completed, will make critical contributions to unveiling the mystery of Mars.

With the successful landing of China’s Tianwen-1, a multi-point, multi-vehicle joint probing mode has unfolded a new chapter in the history of Mars exploration.

(Sources from the Internet)

Launching of Tianwen-1. Source: Internet