By Fabiola Kemegni
China’s space program launched its first-ever space mission to Mars, joining the space race with the United States, Russia and Europe despite the coronavirus impacts on Chinese economy.
Coming a few days after the United Arab Emirates launched a mission to Mars, China’s mission nicknamed Tianwen-6, which took off on Thursday July 23, 2020 from Wenchang spacecraft launch site on the island province of Hainan.
The Tianwen-6, meaning “Questions to Heaven,” consists of a combined orbiter, lander and rover, expected to reach the red planet in about seven months if all goes well. These robots are expected to make the first global map of the mars climate, drill into the planet’s surface, and search for underground water as well as evidence of past lives.
China’s space program, has managed to keep their project on track despite the COVID-19 impact on the country’s economy. However this mission reportedly has a budget of $8 billion, more than any country except the United States. Besides the United states, is equally planning to launch Perseverance, its most Sophisticated Mars rover ever from Canaveral, Florida, next week.