Tianwen-1 Mars Probe: China launches its first red planet mission
China has successfully launched its Mars probe TIANWEN-1 from the southern province of Hainan. The probe was carried into space by China's most powerful rocket -- the Long March-5 from the Wenchang Launch Site. It's China's first independent Mars mission. If all goes according to plan, the rover will explore the surface of the planet for 90 days. Wu Lei has more.
Blasting off, the fourth Long March 5 rocket made history, sending China's first Mars probe into the Earth-Mars transfer orbit. This is the first time the Long March-5 carrier rocket is put into practical use after three experimental launches.
ZHANG RONGQIAO Chief Designer China's 1st Mars Exploration Mission "We scheduled this moment six years ago and we've been fighting for it for that long. We've achieved such a good result. The entire research and development team has fought for this achievement. This will lay a solid foundation for the probe's final procedure, which is circling and landing."
China's first Mars mission is called Tianwen-1—"quest for heavenly truth". The probe consists of not only an orbiter, but also a lander and a rover, a trifecta no other nation has accomplished on its first Mars mission.
WU YANHUA Deputy Director China National Space Administration "Our goal is to get the full picture of Mars by collecting various kinds of data and images. After the launch, the probe is expected to land, patrol, and explore the planet in May next year. In the last stage, the rover will detect the material composition of the surface of Mars."
There are 13 different payloads on the Chinese Mars probe, including 7 on the orbiter and 6 on the lander.
LIU JIZHONG Director China Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center "These payloads are to study the Martian atmosphere, weather, geologic structure and so on."
Many global Space agencies and organizations have also participated in China's Mars mission.
The China National Space Administration says Tianwen-1 opens a new chapter in the country's interplanetary missions.
WU LEI Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site "China plans to carry out a Mars sampling and return mission around 2030, and continue to study the Martian environment. WL, CGTN, Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site."
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