China is determined to be a key player in outer space. It has revolutionary ideas about research in that domain. An example is its idea of exploring new territories on the lunar surface. China launched its Chang’e-4 mission to gather data from the far side of the Moon. No one had made such an attempt until now. Its Tianwen-1 spacecraft is currently in orbit around the red planet, and it would land on Mars in May or June. China launched the five-tonne spacecraft from Wenchang spaceport in July, and it is now in place to carry out its programmed tasks.

While the UAE provided live coverage of the event, China preferred to announce only after it happened. It has to decide on a suitable spot to land on the planet. To do this, it will carry out reconnaissance. A tentative spot for the touchdown of Tianwen-1 is a flat plain inside the Utopia impact basin located just north of the equator of Mars.

The BBC says the successful orbit insertion of Tianwen-1 is proof that China is progressing at a fast rate. America already has its robots on Mars, and China could become a force to reckon with. It has proved its mettle by its recent activities on the Moon. In December, China retrieved rock and soil samples from the lunar soil. Analysis of these samples would enrich our knowledge about the Moon.

Mars mission of China

Amateur radio enthusiasts followed the events associated with the mission of Tianwen-1. They could listen across the Chinese spacecraft signals and note each milestone as it entered the orbit. The landing would come later. The BBC adds China was adapting to the Americans' methodology for their successful Viking landers in the mid-1970s.

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The idea was to orbit before sending down a robot. China’s rover resembles those of NASA. Its weight is 529lbs (240Kg), and solar panels generate the necessary power. This is a form of Renewable Energy that is indispensable on the Moon and Mars. In fact, a combination of Artificial Intelligence, robotics, and solar energy is necessary for working in distant locations millions of miles away.

China has assigned tasks to Tianwen-1

The BBC makes a mention of equipment onboard the rover. There will be a provision for cameras to capture required scenes. These are of high- and medium-resolution, and their outputs would be useful to better understand the red planet. There is a range of instruments to assess the mineralogy of local rocks. Tianwen-1 would also be on the lookout for any traces of water-ice. The purpose of the on-board ground-penetrating radar would be to try to sense geological layers at various depths. In December, China unfurled its flag on the Moon as part of its Chang’e 5 mission.

Tianwen-1 probe took seven months to reach Mars

According to CNN, the Tianwen-1 probe of China has entered the orbit of the red planet and is one more step closer to Mars.

China becomes the sixth country in history to reach the red planet. The China National Space Administration CNSA says the probe Tianwen-1 (which means "quest for heavenly truth") consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. It is on six wheels and contains a range of scientific instruments. The spacecraft expects to land on the Martian surface in May or June. The only countries that have landed a spacecraft on this alien surface are the United States and the former Soviet Union. Now, China could be the third. Incidentally, the country made an earlier attempt in 2011. It launched from Kazakhstan in November that year, but it was not successful. Things have changed since then, with President Xi Jinping at the helm of affairs.

China has invested heavily in the space program. The government has assigned priority to this sector and plans to launch a permanent space station by 2022. It also has plans to send astronauts to the Moon.