Can Americans count on a peaceful transition of political power? "If successful, it would signify a major technical breakthrough," the Chinese team wrote in the journal Nature. Last year a Chinese probe, the Chang’e-4, became the first to touch down on the far side of the moon. Tianwen-1 (TW-1) is an interplanetary mission to Mars by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) to send a robotic spacecraft, which consists of an orbiter, deployable camera, lander and a rover. “And we’re looking to take humans to Mars sometime in the 2030s.”. The scientific goals of the mission include studying Martian topography and geology and determining the composition of the surface material, climate and environment. All rights reserved. CNN's David Culver, Lily Lee and Katie Hunt contributed to this story. Disclaimer. SHANGHAI—The rivalry between the U.S. and China assumes cosmic proportions this month, as both countries prepare to send spacecraft to Mars within days of each other. In her free time, she likes designing graphics, studying Chinese, and listening to the seven loves of her life, K-pop group BTS. “For the moon, we’d like to return humans in the late 2020s,” NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Steve Clarke said on CBS last November. On Thursday, China launched a rover to Mars, signalling a space race with the US — NASA is set to launch its own rover on July 30. “China joining (the Mars race) will change the situation dominated by the US for half a century,” the news agency AFP quoted Chen Lan, an independent analyst at GoTaikonauts, which specialises in China’s space programme, as saying. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. Surrounded by barren hills in northwest Gansu province, "Mars Base 1" opened to the public on April 17 with the aim of exposing teens -- and soon tourists -- to what life could be like on the planet. Chinese officials have framed space exploration as a contest between nations and sometimes likened the conquest of space to China’s territorial disputes here on Earth. Every 26 months, the Earth and Mars swing relatively close to one another—if 34 million miles can be considered close—providing a narrow window for Martian missions. If Tianwen-1 is successful, it has plans to eventually send a manned mission to Mars. In addition to the Mars mission, China has been actively pursuing lunar exploration. All times are ET. “It’s a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation,” Wu Weiren, the chief designer of China’s lunar exploration project, told CCTV. Chinese space mission reveals what it's like on the farside of the moon. First-ever cotton plant on the Moon growing in #ChangE4 mini biosphere, — China Xinhua News (@XHNews) January 15, 2019. It will orbit the red planet for two to three months before deploying a rover that will conduct scientific experiments on the Martian surface. Watch: How China’s Army of Apps Helped People Through Coronavirus Isolation, Wǒ Men Podcast: How Porn Helped Me Through Lockdown, Wǒ Men Podcast: How Covid-19 has Changed Chinese People’s Attitudes to Personal Finance, Wǒ Men Podcast: The Unsung Heroes of International Media’s China Coverage. China’s largest carrier rocket, the Long March 5 Y-4, blasted off with the probe at 12:41 p.m. (0441 GMT) from Wenchang Space Launch Centre on the southern island of Hainan. According to the deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), Wu Yanhua, the space agency plans on sending a probe to Mars as early as 2020, followed by manned missions. The Science and Technology Policy Institute said last year that the U.S. could realistically aim to launch a manned Mars mission in 2037 at the earliest, at a cost of more than $120 billion. The administration said the probe is due to land on Mars before July 2021, after which the 200-kilogram (441-pound) machine will work for around three months. Move Over Matt Damon, China’s Sending People to Mars, How Hip Hop Star GAI Went From Violent Offender to Mainstream Success, Unconventional Art Prankster Xu Zhen on “Moving Beyond the Boundaries”, Here’s a Playlist of Terrifying Tunes to Get You in the Mood for Halloween. This picture taken on April 17, 2019 shows a woman wearing a spacesuit walking out of "Mars Base 1", a C-Space Project, in the Gobi desert, some 40 kilometres from Jinchang in China's northwest Gansu province. China completed its first public test of a Mars lander in November last year, keeping the country on track for an unmanned exploration mission to the red planet in 2020. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, and the mission aims to study the thickness and sub-layer distribution of the Martian soil. Early in his term, US President Donald Trump. Updated 0850 GMT (1650 HKT) July 23, 2020. After successfully growing the first ever seedlings on the moon, China has ambitious space plans for the near future - including missions to Mars. It weighs around 240 kg and will carry cameras, a subsurface radar, a spectrometer, a magnetometer, and atmospheric sensors. The race to land astronauts on the moon is highly symbolic, said Mr. Cheng of the Heritage Foundation, with relations between the world’s two largest economies at their lowest ebb in decades as Beijing and Washington spar over issues ranging from technology and trade to the political status of Hong Kong and human rights in Xinjiang in China’s far west. The timing of this month’s launches is primarily dictated by the motion of the planets. Watch: Is China Helping or Hurting Our Environment? The U.S. and Russia have launched multiple probes to Mars in the past, while Europe, India and Japan have also sent spacecraft there. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Not only are they, But this hasn't stopped politicians speculating about a manned mission to the red planet. Also in Explained | Series of missions to Mars – why, when. The lander sits before being lifted for tests of its hovering, obstacle avoidance and deceleration capabilities. The United Arab Emirates also took advantage of the latest alignment by launching a Mars probe Sunday. Julienna Law is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California. If successful, this would make China only the second country, after the United States, to put a human on the moon. Perseverance is expected to touch down on Mars on February 18, 2021. Join the conversation below. Explained: France, Emmanuel Macron and Islam. A number of nations and organizations have long-term intentions to send humans to Mars., — Mark Kelly (@ShuttleCDRKelly) January 4, 2019. It's SpaceX's Starship prototype, NASA astronauts splash down after historic SpaceX mission, Go inside Virgin Galactic's spaceship for tourists, See NASA's big plans for its new Mars rover, Perseverance, US astronauts welcomed aboard International Space Station, Elon Musk told CNN in 2004 how he could help NASA, Watch the biggest moments in SpaceX's history, Atlas V launches for US Space Force mission, SpaceX launches more satellites for its internet constellation, Watch Bezos' Blue Origin test its space tourism rocket, Watch SpaceX's Starship Mk1 partially explode during test, landing of a probe on the far side of the Moon, historic landing of humans on the Moon in 1969, invested billions of dollars in building up its space program. For Most Indians, That’s Unthinkable, How Women are Quietly Diversifying China’s Taste for Wine, Volunteer Efforts are Keeping New York’s Chinatown Businesses Afloat. China's moon landing is a scientific achievement no doubt. China, in partnership with Russia, had attempted a mission to Mars in 2011 too, but the launch failed. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines. China was late to the space race -- it didn't send its first satellite into space until 1970, just after the United States put the first man on the moon. It has also started plans to set up a space station by 2022. China completed its first public test of a Mars lander in November last year, keeping the country on track for an unmanned exploration mission to the red planet in 2020. 10 Spectacular Chinese Architectural Projects that Won 2020 Architizer A+Awards, “A Painful Read”: New Report on the Dangers Facing China’s Delivery Drivers Goes Viral. The rover has a drill which can be used to collect core samples from rocks and set them aside to potentially be collected and examined by a later mission. Which begs the question: Where’s NASA in all this? School closure, work from home, ban on public events — which works best? The head-to-head Mars missions are the latest sign that China is ready to challenge the U.S. in space exploration, in recent decades an American preserve. Last year, China announced it had opened a Mars simulation base in Qinghai's Qaidam Basin, a hyper-arid region in western China that is the highest desert on Earth and long considered one of the best parallels with the Martian surface on our own planet. They've collaborated on the International Space Station, and congratulated each other on successful missions, such as China's, But for all the insistence of those involved to the contrary, the space race is inescapably political. The latest American Mars mission will gather samples for return to Earth on a future mission. Updated 1239 GMT (2039 HKT) April 24, 2020, (CNN)China's space agency revealed the name of its first Mars exploration mission on Friday, and said the mission is on track to take place "in the coming months.". Beijing’s space agency also plans to launch a Chang’e-5 mission at the end of this year to collect samples from the near side of the moon. This photo taken on July 17, 2020 shows a Long March 5 rocket being transferred before a planned launch in Wenchang in China's southern Hainan province. The trial took place Thursday in the mountainous landscape of Hebei province, about an hour and a half drive north of Beijing. China invited diplomats and international media, including CNN, to witness the test.

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