crossing America, China Will Be The First Country To Bring Mars Samples



The United States (US) has postponed a mission to Mars to bring samples of the Red Planet to Earth. Meanwhile, China rushed to overtake it to reach that milestone.

China's first mission to Mars, Tianwen-1, was launched in July 2020, and transported orbits, landers, and explorers carrying a total of 13 research equipment. In May 2021, Tianwen-1 landed safely on the Mars plateau of Utopia Planitia. Flight Tianwen 1 is touted as a success by the Chinese government at the end of 2021.

Quoted from the Eurasian Times, a senior space official in China has confirmed that China plans to bring rock from Mars in 2031.

Meanwhile, US NASA, in collaboration with the European Space Agency ESA, is on a more sophisticated mission to return samples from Mars collected by the Perseverance explorer robot.

According to Sun Zezhou, lead designer of the Tianwen 1, Chang'e 3, and Chang'e 4 lunar missions, China's schedule is two years faster than the U.S.-European Mars mission planned to bring samples of Mars to Earth.

Last March, NASA said it would postpone the next phase of the "Sample Mars" mission and split the landing mission into two different spacecraft to lower the overall risk of the program. Under the revised plan, the ESA Earth Return Orbiter will be launched in 2027, and samples will return to Earth in 2033.

The NASA -led Retrieval Lander and ESA -led Earth Return Orbiter samples are scheduled to launch in 2026. According to the plan, the lander will collect Perseverance samples and put them into a rocket called the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), which will launch it into orbit using an ESA -built rover.

The sample is planned to be collected by an orbiting spacecraft, which will use a collection mechanism provided by NASA, and return to Earth in 2031.

With the American-European mission running slower than originally planned and the Chinese mission potentially faster than scheduled, China could be the first country to bring rock from Mars to Earth.