back to article China successfully launches Mars probe that packs an orbiter, lander, rover

China has successfully launched a Mars probe. The middle kingdom’s previous red planet effort, 2011’s Yinghuo-1, rode on a Russian rocket that failed to leave Earth orbit and therefore did not fulfill its orbital observation mission. For this new mission, dubbed Tianwen-1, China has used its own Long March 5 heavy lifter and …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    a camera capable of two-metre resolution from a height of 400kms

    One has to hope that when they get there, that either Curiosity or, preferably, the Martians, have drawn a great big willy in the sand.

    1. Twanky Bronze badge
      Alien

      Re: a camera capable of two-metre resolution from a height of 400kms

      ...the Martians, have drawn a great big willy in the sand.

      We did - but you didn't recognise it.

      1. shedied

        Re: a camera capable of two-metre resolution from a height of 400kms

        Ya, you were all distracted by that so-called face in the rock for ages, do we have to put another willie to get your attention

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: a camera capable of two-metre resolution from a height of 400kms

        So it was you who vandalised my back garden, I will be avenged!

    2. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge
      Flame

      Re: a camera capable of two-metre resolution from a height of 400kms

      If they really wanted to piss of Xi Ping they should put a picture of Winnie the Pooh!

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: a camera capable of two-metre resolution from a height of 400kms

        Such a rich trove to choose from:

        "Free Tibet"

        "Taiwan is a free country"

        "4th June 1989"

        "Hong Kong democracy"

        "Religious freedom for Uighurs"

        Or you could just draw a big dick, that works too....

        1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

          Re: a camera capable of two-metre resolution from a height of 400kms

          I'd go subtler. A big simple square that they're compelled to go investigate due to its startling geometric regularity and…what's that buried in the dust over here? A tiny model of a tank?

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    MRDA :-)

    Nice one, China. Bravo.

    Warrior Wolf in the hen house and 5g cat amongst the stool pigeons springs immediately to mind.

  3. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Joke

    China has successfully launched a Mars probe.

    Did anyone tell them that Matt Damon doesn't need rescuing?

    1. Cliff Thorburn

      Re: China has successfully launched a Mars probe.

      Shouldn’t that be 5G of MCAT amongst the pidgeons amFM?, another great Chinese MK Ultra export?

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: China has successfully launched a Mars probe.

        Shouldn’t that be 5G of MCAT amongst the pidgeons amFM?, another great Chinese MK Ultra export?...... Cliff Thorburn

        :-) No, CT, that would be misleading*, although I imagine the West would just love it to be so, just so that they do not have to try and compete with or against SMARTR Opponents with Components and Assets Travelling in a Virgin Space which they, the Chinese, may have cracked the leading codes for.

        * the post was quite amusing though ..... and all too easily recognised as a possible and therefore probable cause of increasingly destructive home-based problems.

        1. Cliff Thorburn

          Re: China has successfully launched a Mars probe.

          The supply of such 4G mandarin import ended as abruptly once future communication infrastructure began the next generational stages of stealthy supply.

          It kinda makes for interesting moves does it not, now that the US has played its Trump card?, ready for a shuffle of the deck ready to begin the unearthing of yet another Russian Doll, revealing tantalising tactics of the next stages of red corner global Red and Mandarin alliance, against a change of guard in the motherland.

          I guess the question, will the words “Back of the Queue” resonate a resurrection of promises of presidents past weakening further an already brittle Special Relationship?, with tension in a Union where all corners seek sanctuary in sanity of something that provides stability?

          All to play for and interesting spectation in a great game coming soon/already here ‘the future is now’ kinda way :O)

    2. adrianww
      Alien

      Re: China has successfully launched a Mars probe.

      s/need/deserve/

    3. 0laf Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: China has successfully launched a Mars probe.

      It's not there to rescue him. It'll just take a Tik Tok video of him and steal his personal data (already stolen by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Experian, Equifax, and anyone else with 20p and an app).

  4. Symon Silver badge
    Alien

    "Only the USA, Soviet Union and EU have landed rovers on the red planet."

    The EU? Are you sure?

    "Europe’s first Mars rover delayed by two years"

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00746-6

    Also, the 1971 USSR one only lasted for 20 seconds, I think!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_rover

    1. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge
      Trollface

      Beagle 2

      For some definition of "landed"...

      1. tony72

        Re: Beagle 2

        Have an upvote for the laugh.

        To be fair, I believe Beagle 2 did actually land successfully and intact, just it failed to deploy its communications array properly once on the ground, so it should count as a landing. However it was British, although part of an ESA mission, so I'm not sure even then that the EU should get credited with a landing.

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: Beagle 2

          Ahh Brexit is retroactive is it?

      2. Symon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Beagle 2

        Is that a rover? Maybe. Woof, woof, bad dog, Rover.

  5. HildyJ Silver badge
    Pint

    Best wishes

    I don't approve of China's government (or, for that matter, Russia's or the UAE's governments) but I applaud their space exploration efforts.

    The next step will be a burn to put them on course to Mars which should happen relatively soon. I hope it goes well.

    A pint of Tsingtao for the boffins.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Best wishes

      agreed. the entire idea of privatizing space (so it becomes less prohibitively expensive to explore it) ought to include other nations' space programs as well as private companies in the USA, etc..

      I wonder when India will send something...

      /me wonders how long before a Russian company launches rockets from Baikonur... (or have I missed something?)

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: Best wishes

        Russia is already looking at building a spaceport on it’s own soil or it could just be part of negotiations with the Kazakhs for the cost and access arrangements.

        They might even tell the world about it before it’s built. Though the Americans and Chinese will want to know since a spaceport and a missile site have certain similarities.

    2. JCitizen Bronze badge
      Pint

      Re: Best wishes

      Just what I was thinking! I may not approve of the PRC leadership, but I'm happy to see the people making progress! I'll tip a cool one for them tonight!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it be reliable?

    or will the reverse engineered/counterfeit components fail before time?

    (50/50 joke/serious).

    :-/

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Will it be reliable?

      worth noting, they seem to be using the 'air bag' method that U.S. rovers have successfully used to land on Mars. So 50/50 joke/serious is appropriate.

      1. StickThatInYourPieHole

        Re: Will it be reliable?

        That's a pretty weird way of looking at things for such a high risk venture. If a proven method works for what is a multi-year, multi-billion (insert currency of choice) project, then surely it makes sense to stick with it unless there is good reason not to or your intent is to prove out a different method. If "Getting there" is just part of the admin of getting the real job done it totally makes sense to copy what was successful previously. Labs all over the world "copy" techniques developed elsewhere precisely because they're proven to work

      2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Hmm

        Better not mention what the US space program started out copying.

        (Dammit, where's the Basil Fawlty icon when you need it!)

        1. stiine Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Hmm

          We didn't copy it, we actually shipped the some of the parts and people to the U.S. and continued working.

          That's a might fine icon right there...

  7. RobThBay

    "...yet another display of China’s emergence as a scientific superpower."

    I would have it thought is was yet another display of China's emergence as a massive IP thief.

    1. Potemkine!

      Did China also built its space programs from the Nazis?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Indirectly, yes.

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