China launched its ambitious Mars mission successfully on 23 July with the aim to land and explore the Red Planet. From Hainan Island, south of the mainland of China a long March-5 carrier rocket took off under clear skies at 12:40 p.m. Thousands of space enthusiasts screamed out on the beach across the bay from the launch site.
China Xinhua News took to its Twitter and tweeted as, "China sends its first mission to Mars. Tianwen-1 was launched from Wenchang towards the red planet on a voyage that will last until next year." Here is the tweet.
There are a lot of challenges on the way and if the project succeeds then China might join the US as the only other nation to bring a rover to the surface of the red planet. It is specially designed to test the geology of the Red Planet, the 530-pound rover is fitted with six instruments, including a weather station, a magnetic field detector and a ground-penetrating radar, along with two cameras. The orbiter will operate in tandem with the rover and hold two cameras, a radar penetrating subsurface and a geological spectrometer.
The next step of the mission is going to be critical to Tianwen-1. In 2011, China successfully launched the Yinghuo-1 Mars mission and entered the parking orbit of the Ukrainian Zenit rocket. However, the burns designed to move it from that orbit to Mars failed, leaving it stranded on Earth. It finally re-entered our orbit and disintegrated across the Pacific in January 2012.
Tianwen-1 has been the second of three missions to be launched during the current Mars period, passing fairly close to Earth. A couple of days ago, the UAE successfully launched the first Arab World Mission to Mars (Hope) and the US will send its Perseverance Rover to Mars on July 30. Jim Bridenstine said tha they are also pleased to help NASA's Deep Space Network connect with Hope. The three missions are scheduled to arrive in February 2021.