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Tianwen 1

Tianwen-1 is an interplanetary mission by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) to send a robotic spacecraft to Mars, consisting of 5 parts: an orbiter, deployable camera, lander, drop camera, and the Zhurong rover. The spacecraft, with a total mass of nearly five tons, is one of the heaviest probes launched to Mars and carries 13 scientific instruments. It is the first in a series of planned missions undertaken by CNSA as part of its Planetary Exploration of China program.

The "group video" of Zhurong rover and Tianwen-1 lander taken by a remote camera dropped by the rover.
The "group video" of Zhurong rover and Tianwen-1 lander taken by a remote camera dropped by the rover.
The mission's scientific objectives include: investigation of Martian surface geology and internal structure, search for indications of current and past presence of water, and characterization of the space environment and the atmosphere of Mars.

The mission was launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on 23 July 2020 on a Long March 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle. After seven months of transit through the inner Solar System, the spacecraft entered Martian orbit on 10 February 2021. For the next three months the probe studied the target landing sites from a reconnaissance orbit. On 14 May 2021, the lander/rover portion of the mission successfully touched down on Mars, making China the third nation to both land softly on and establish communication from the Martian surface, after the Soviet Union and the United States.

On 22 May 2021, the Zhurong rover drove onto the Martian surface via the descent ramps on the landing platform. With the successful deployment of the rover, China became the second nation to accomplish this feat, after the United States, as well as the first nation to orbit, land, release a rover, deploy secondary spacecraft, that is, smallsats, both during the transit and one the surface during its first foray into Martian space. Added to this during rover's deployment, the rover's instrument, Mars Climatic Station (MCS), recorded the sound, acting as the second Martian sound instrument to record Martian sounds successfully after Mars 2020 Perseverance rover's microphones.

The Zhurong rover deployed a drop camera to the surface which was able to photograph both the Zhurong rover and the Tianwen-1 lander. With a mass of less than 1 kg, Tianwen-1 drop camera is the lightest artificial object on Mars.

The Tianwen-1 mission was the second of three Martian exploration missions launched during the July 2020 window, after the United Arab Emirates Space Agency's Hope orbiter, and before NASA's Mars 2020 mission, which landed the Perseverance rover with the attached Ingenuity helicopter drone.

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