Who said that only Americans and Europeans could send their ‘toys’ to Mars? China wants to prove that it can also do something similar with its upcoming Mars landing mission, and we can’t be otherwise than very happy for it. Astronomers all over the world joining forces for space exploration is a wonderful thing, as humanity needs to travel deep into the unknown as much as possible.
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on April 24 the name of its upcoming mission to the Red Planet. Therefore, the Asian country celebrates its Space Day in a unique way.
Tianwen-1 is the name of the mission
Tianwen-1 is its name, and exploring Mars starting in February 2021 is its game. The mission includes the sending of a robotic structure to study the composition of the Martian atmosphere, and also to contribute to the search for past and present life on the Red Planet. The Tianwen-1 name belongs to an ancient verse by the poet Qu Yuan, which translates to “questions about the heavens.”
Chinese news service Xinhua explains to us the reason behind the decision:
In ‘Tianwen,’ Qu Yuan raised a series of questions in verse involving the sky, stars, natural phenomena, myths and the real world, showing his doubts about some traditional concepts and the spirit of seeking the truth,
Zhang Kejian, who is the China National Space Administration chief, said that his agency plans of using the ‘Tianwen-1’ name for all of its missions for planetary explorations. CNSA also landed two Chang’e probes with rovers on the moon, and one of the missions remains active until today.
Sending remotely controlled tools for exploring Mars cannot possibly be a bad thing, especially for the fact that humanity needs as much data as it can get about our neighboring planet before physically going there. We may never know for sure how the human body can react under conditions never experienced before.