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Uncrewed Chinese spacecraft successfully enters Mars orbit

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    12th Feb, 2021


An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars after a 6-1/2-month journey from Earth.

Tianwen-1 or “Questions to Heaven”

  • Tianwen-1, or "Questions to Heaven", the name of a Chinese poem written two millennia ago, is China's first independent mission to the planet after a probe co-launched with Russia failed to leave the Earth's orbit in 2011.
  • The probe is one of three reaching Mars in February with the Hope probe and NASA’s probe.
    • Tianwen-1 consists of an orbiter and a lander/rover duo.
    • Tianwen-1 will attempt to land a capsule carrying a 240-kg rover in the northern hemisphere of Mars known as Utopia Planitia.
    • The rover is solar-powered.
    • It will explore soil and seeking signs of ancient life, including any sub-surface water and ice using ground-penetrating radar.