Q Why is it in News ?
A Recently, China’s spacecraft Tianwen-1 landed on Mars carrying its first Mars rover named Zhurong.
- It became the third country to land on Mars after the US and Soviet Union.
- China's previous ‘Yinghuo-1’ Mars mission, which was supported by a Russian spacecraft, had failed after it did not leave the earth's orbit and disintegrated over the Pacific Ocean in 2012.
Q What are some key details about Tianwen-1 Mission ?
- The Tianwen-1 Spacecraft was lifted off on a Long March 5 rocket, from the Wenchang launch center in July 2020.
- Three Parts:
- The Spacecraft consists of three parts - the orbiter, the lander and the rover which separated in Mars orbit.
- The orbiter will remain in the orbit for scientific operations and to relay signals while the lander-rover combination has made an autonomous descent and landing.
- The lander from Tianwen-1 has touched down on Utopia Planitia, a large plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars.
Q What are objectives of this Mission ?
- To conduct scientific investigations into the planet’s soil, geological structure, environment, atmosphere and water.
- The mission will be the first to place a ground-penetrating radar on the Martian surface, which will be able to study local geology, as well as rock, ice, and dirt distribution.
Q Which are other Mars Mission ?
- Other Mars Missions:
- NASA’s Perseverance Rover
- UAE’s Hope Mars Mission (UAE’s first-ever interplanetary mission)
- India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan:
- It was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh by Indian Space Research Organisation in November 2013.
- It was launched on board a PSLV C25 rocket with the aim of studying Martian surface and mineral composition as well as scan its atmosphere for methane (an indicator of life on Mars).