China Launches rocket to Mars!
Today, China launched a rocket into space towards planet Mars, making it its first independent mission to another planet. The rocket ship (the Long March 5 y-4 rocket) has a robot onboard and is headed to reach Mars’ orbit in February 2021. The robot, called Tainwen-1, (Mandarin for ‘Heavenly questions’) will land on the planet in April or May of 2021.
The Mars mission allows China to explore and learn more about the planet, while also showing other countries its technological skill. The robot will research the geology of the area; whether there is underground water, and what the soil is like. It will take pictures of the planet and try to map out some areas. It will also search for any signs of previous life on the planet.
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China’s rocket launch comes in a timeframe where our planet is much closer to Mars than it usually is. Because of this, it is much shorter for a rocket to travel from our planet to Mars, and it requires less rocket fuel. This month, both the UAE and the US (NASA) are launching a satellite and robot to Mars as well.
Source: DW, Reuters, BBC News, Daily Sabah