By: April Carson
China has released stunning footage of its Tianwen-1 probe entering Mars' orbit.
The craft departed Earth last summer, around the same time as NASA's Perseverance rover and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency's Hope orbital probe, both of which were headed for Mars.
The onboard cameras of the tiny probe provide a breathtaking perspective of the Martian surface below. The images, which were released by state broadcaster CCTV, are so clear that you can see craters and even the planet's atmosphere.
On Wednesday, China's Tiangong-1, a five-ton orbiter with a lander and solar-powered rover aboard, entered Martian orbit.
In May, the 530-pound rover will try to land on Mars. If the hazardous landing succeeds, it will spend about three months examining the Red Planet's soil and atmosphere — and China will become just the third country to softly touch down on Mars after the Soviet Union and United States.
Tianwen-1 is yet another demonstration of China's great space aspirations. If everything goes according to plan, China will construct its own space station in Earth's orbit as soon as next year.
In other words, the competition is on. The two world powers are engaged in a head-to-head rivalry, and if China's efforts to explore Mars' surface are any indication, it could be closer than previously thought.
Tianwen-1, which means "quest" in Chinese, is equipped with an ultraviolet telescope and a visible light camera that will map the distribution of minerals and chemical elements on Mars’ surface.
It will also measure the density of Mars' ionosphere and study its plasma environment. The latter should be useful for future exploration because it tells scientists about conditions surrounding the planet which may affect efforts to land on Mars successfully.
The orbiter will also measure atmospheric changes on Mars. The rover — designed by China’s space agency — was expected to land on the Red Planet in 2020, but ISRO was reportedly unable to meet the deadline.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has now announced that it will launch its orbiter on November 5, 2019. The space agency is yet to discover water on Mars, so India is staking its claim to be first Asian nation to reach Mars.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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