In the recent times, there have been two very important scientific missions to Mars. One from the NASA and the other one from the CNSA. While the NASA successfully touched the mars with Perseverance and was in the media all around the world, Chinese Mission seemingly went under the radar, having not talked about much. This makes me wonder why is it so. Is it because NASA already did it before and got all the attention or is it because China doesn’t interest people much in the outside world.
Tianwen-1 was CNSA Mars mission 2020 which was launched along with two other missions during the launch window last July 2020. The mission was launched on 23 July, 2020 and after 7 months it entered into Martian orbit. For the next three months it studied the various target landing sites and on 14 May, 2021 the lander and the rover successfully touched down on Mars. This made China the third nation to both land softly and to establish communication from the Martian system. Soviet Union and USA were the other two nations achieving these in the past. On 22 May, 2021, the Zhurong rover drove on the Martian surface via the descent ramps on the landing platform. This made China only the second nation to achieve this after USA, and the first nation to orbit, land and release a rover on its first foray to the Martian space.
You can read more about the mission and it’s purpose from the above Wikipedia link, but the point of this post is to question as to why this Chinese Mission isn’t talked much about on the social media and on the proper media channels. While I came through few articles and YouTube videos without searching for them, I haven’t seen much about this mission on the social media such as Twitter and Instagram. This is maybe due to the fact that these services are banned from the nation. During the Perseverance landing, Twitter made a special like animation and hashtags for it in association with NASA. However due to Twitter not being functional in China, such things couldn’t happen and it significantly reduces the chances of public and media attention.
This may not be the case, but I also thought that Chinese Mission not getting enough media and public attention may also come from the fact that world outside of China has not much interest or is not very keen to know much about what is actually happening in China.
Scientific missions to Mars are very important as to study a lot of different things. NASA’s and CNSA’s mission to Mars will prove very handy in knowing more about this red planet and it’s history, and will benefit humanity on its future missions to Mars and beyond.
Do let me know your thoughts about this, and while I am at it let me also remind you all to please vaccinate yourself, and encourage others to do so as well. Stay safe and stay happy in these times. Thanku.😄