Paul M. DíezSEGUIRCORRESPONSAL IN BEIJING Updated: Save Send news by mail electrónicoTu name *

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Following with their frenetic space race in struggle with the united States, China has launched this Thursday, the first mission to Mars. , At 12:41 (06:41 cet), concluded the countdown in mandarin and a rocket “Long March-5” was fired from the base of Wenchang, in the south island of Hainan, heading to the “Red Planet”. A trip that, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua, will last for seven months and aims to pose on the martian surface a vehicle of exploration . Once you have completed this part of the mission, which will be the most difficult, the vehicle will study the atmosphere, magnetic fields and ionosphere of Mars during 90 days of that planet, that they are something more than three months in the Ground.

After its manned missions to space and their pioneering exploration of the hidden face of the Moon, China makes a leap and more to conquer the cosmos. On this occasion, does so with a ship named as “Tianwen-1” , which means “Questions to Heaven” and is a tribute to a poem written over two thousand years by Qu Yuan (340-278 bc). With this “perseverance in the pursuit of truth and science by exploring the nature and the universe”, according to the official propaganda, the authoritarian Beijing regime is proposed to mark another milestone to confirm their emergence as a superpower not only on Earth but also in space.


But it will not be the only one because this summer, coinciding with the alignment of Mars with the Earth, there are more missions similar. Four days ago, the United Arab Emirates launched its own probe to the “Red Planet” and the U.S. will do the same on the 30th day of July. They all want to take advantage of the trip is now shorter to get to Mars, a goal that stirs the imagination of the human being from decades ago.

In fact, this is not the first time that Chinese try. In 2011 it launched a joint mission with Russia, but failed. Now he does it solo after the recent successes of its race to space. If all goes well, the ship “Tianwen-1” will reach the “Red Planet” in February of the next year after sailing 55 million kilometers.

AFPComo the Viking

despite their very fast progress, China is still far behind the US, which has already sent four vehicles to Mars since the late 90’s. Your next mission, “Perseverance”, it will be with a probe the size of a car that will look for signs of ancient microbial life and will take samples of rocks and soil to bring them to Earth in 2031, informs France Presse.

For this reason, and according to some experts, this first expedition to china to Mars, it is similar to the missions “Viking” that NASA carried out between 1975 and 1976. Since the 60’s, the former Soviet Union and the U.S. had moved to the space its “Cold War” and, as with the Moon, they both wanted to join the be the first to pose an unmanned craft on Mars, the planet most similar to Earth. After several failed attempts, we finally got the USSR with a probe that landed on Mars, but that hardly worked there for 14 seconds. After their missions, “Viking”, the ship american “Mars Odyssey”, released in 2001, holds the record for gravitation in orbit around a planet other than the Earth, picks up the newspaper “South China Morning Post”.

Thanks to its extraordinary economic growth, China has entered fully into the space race since 2003, put its first man in orbit. Since then, it has carried out half a dozen of manned missions, and, after building a laboratory between the stars, it poses to 2022, an space station permanent. Taking over Russia, the “New Cold War” with the US also being waged in the space.