Jul 23, 2020
China's Tianwen-1 Mars rover rockets away from Earth
Tianwen-1 is one of three missions setting off to Mars in the space of 11 days. The rover will study the region's geology - at, and just below, the surface. This surface investigation is really only half the mission because the cruise ship that is shepherding the rover to Mars will also study the planet from orbit using a suite of seven remote-sensing instruments. China can take confidence from the successes of its two recent Yutu lunar rovers, the second of which made the first ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon last year. A day, or Sol, on Mars lasts 24 hours and 39 minutes.
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