US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — China ‘s first Mars exploration mission will be called Tianwen 1 (Questions to Heaven), China National Space Administration said.
“Tianwen” is a work of the great Chinese poet Cai Yuan, the organizers note that the choice of this name symbolizes the perseverance of the Chinese nation in search of truth, and also reflects the cultural heritage in the study of nature and the universe.
The international name selection competition for the first Chinese research mission to Mars was opened at the end of August 2016.
The contest organizers received a total of almost 36 thousand applications. Earlier, a special jury and online voting selected a list of eight final names; the winner was announced on Friday, April 24, when Cosmonautics Day is celebrated in China.
The planned mission includes the exit and rotation in orbit of Mars, landing and moving on the surface of the Red Planet. If the mission succeeds, scientists will be able to study the atmosphere, terrain, geological characteristics, and features of the planet’s magnetic field, which will help to get a clue about the origin and evolution of Mars and the entire solar system.
At the same time, the main goal of the mission is to find possible signs of life on Mars, as well as help scientists understand whether the conditions on Mars can change in the future so that the planet becomes suitable for human life.
It was previously reported that China plans to launch its first probe to Mars in July or August 2020. The mission is planned to be carried out from the Wenchang cosmodrome in Hainan using the Changzheng-5 launch vehicle, which should directly launch a probe into the transitional orbit of Earth and Mars for the exploration of Mars.
According to preliminary calculations, the probe will need seven months to reach the planet’s surface, if the mission succeeds, the probe will send the data to Earth in 2021.
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