China becomes latest country to reach Mars with Tianwen-1 probe

China becomes latest country to reach Mars with Tianwen-1 probe


Tianwen-1’s first image of Mars, captured Feb. 5 | China National Space Administration

China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft successfully rolled into Mars orbit Wednesday morning, the China National Space Administration confirmed. The probe’s arrival makes China the sixth space-faring power to reach the planet. It’s also the second country this month to celebrate its first Mars mission, arriving a day after the UAE’s Hope orbiter entered Martian orbit Tuesday morning.

Tianwen-1, which translates to “questions to heaven” or “questioning the heavens,” is a five-ton bundle of a rover, lander, and orbiter that launched from Wenchang in south China in July last year. China was one of three countries to use a narrow, roughly two-month window to launch spacecraft to Mars as it closely aligned with Earth in their orbits around the Sun — an…

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