(Image Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC))
Hot on the heels of the UAE mission which arrived earlier this week, the Chinese Tianwen-1 mission has also arrived at the red planet and entered orbit. Meaning “Questions to Heaven”, this mission will further extend our knowledge of our new frontier when the second phase lands a rover on the planet, designed to use ground-penetrating radar to learn more about the geological structure. Meanwhile, the orbiter will continue to study the planet using seven remote sensing devices.
A new Space Race is exactly what our struggling world needs right now. My hope is that we can see a new era of cooperation and scientific competition, from which will arise new technologies, new partnerships and a unity that we are sorely lacking. I am firmly convinced that, as nations continue to mount efforts such as this to study the planet, SpaceX will succeed in delivering the capability to get cargo and shortly there after, crew sent to our new home. Much like the Space Station, where astronauts from different nations come together to work and experience the awe of space travel, national boundaries become meaningless during such endeavors. This is sure to be true on Mars as well, where the urgency of research and survival will outshine petty politics that are then millions of miles away.
See this excellent eoportal resource for solid background on the mission.