The mission includes a Mars orbiter, a lander and a rover that will study the planet’s soil.”As a first try for China, I don’t expect it to do anything significant beyond what the US has already done,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.The United States has already sent four rovers to Mars since the late 1990s.The next one, Perseverance, is an SUV-sized vehicle that will look for signs of ancient microbial life, and gather rock and soil samples with the goal of bringing them back to Earth on another mission in 2031.The Chinese mission is similar to NASA’s Viking missions in 1975-1976, in that it has both an orbiter and a lander, McDowell said.Tianwen-1 is “broadly comparable to Viking in its scope and ambition,” he added.After watching the United States and the Soviet Union lead the way during the Cold War, China has poured billions of dollars into its military-led space program.”China joining [the Mars race] will change the situation dominated by the US for half a century,” said Chen Lan, an independent analyst at GoTaikonauts.com, which specializes in China’s space program.China has made huge strides in the past decade, sending a human into space in 2003.The Asian powerhouse has laid the groundwork to assemble a space station by 2022 and gain a permanent foothold in Earth orbit.China has already sent two rovers to the Moon. With the second, China became the first country to make a successful soft landing on the far side.The Moon missions gave China experience in operating spacecraft beyond Earth orbit, but Mars is another story.The much greater distance means “a bigger light travel time, so you have to do things more slowly as the radio signal round trip time is large,” said McDowell.It also means “you need a more sensitive ground station on Earth because the signals will be much fainter,” he added, noting that there is a greater risk of failure.China has upgraded its monitoring stations in the far-western Xinjiang region and northeastern Heilongjiang province to meet the Mars mission requirements, state news agency Xinhua reported last week.The majority of the dozens of missions sent by the US, Russia, Europe, Japan and India to Mars since 1960 ended in failure.Tianwen-1 is not China’s first attempt to go to Mars.A previous mission with Russia in 2011 ended prematurely as the launch failed.Now, Beijing is trying on its own.”As long as [Tianwen] safely lands on the Martian surface and sends back the first image, the mission will… be a big success,” Chen said. But the race to watch is between the United States and China, which has worked furiously to try and match Washington’s supremacy in space.The Chinese mission has been named Tianwen-1 (“Questions to Heaven”) in a nod to a classical poem that has verses about the cosmos.It is expected to launch on a Long March 5 — China’s biggest space rocket — from the southern island of Hainan on Thursday, depending on the weather.Tianwen-1 is expected to arrive in February 2021 after a seven-month, 55-million-kilometer voyage. China aims to launch a rover to Mars on Thursday on a journey coinciding with a similar US mission as the powers take their rivalry into deep space.The two countries are taking advantage of a period when Earth and Mars are closest to send their probes, with China’s mission due to lift off by Saturday and the US spacecraft on July 30.It will be a crowded field. The United Arab Emirates launched a probe on Monday that will orbit Mars once it reaches the Red Planet. Topics :
Latest posts by Taylor Vortherms (see all) Taylor VorthermsSports Editor at The Ellsworth AmericanTaylor Vortherms covers sports in Hancock County. The St. Louis, Missouri native recently graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and joined The Ellsworth American in 2013. Bio Latest Posts EHS names new boys’ soccer coach – July 13, 2016 Part 1: Invisible, incapacitating concussions are sidelining high school athletes – July 19, 2016 Part 2: When the injury is inside your head, some “don’t get it” – July 26, 2016 Nick Bagley shoots the ball in the Ellsworth boys’ basketball team’s 48-36 win over Foxcroft Academy in the Eagles’ season-opener on Friday at Ellsworth High School. Bagley finished with 24 points for the night.PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSNick Bagley drives for a layup in the Ellsworth boys’ basketball team’s 48-36 win over Foxcroft Academy in the Eagles’ season-opener on Friday at Ellsworth High School. Bagley finished with 24 points for the night.PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMS12PreviousNextEllsworth and Foxcroft Academy basketball players fight for a rebound in Friday night’s game at Ellsworth High School. Ellsworth won 48-36.PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSELLSWORTH – Nick Bagley scored half of the Ellsworth boys’ basketball team’s points in the Eagles’ 48-36 win over the Foxcroft Academy Ponies on Friday night at Ellsworth High School.Bagley posted 24 points and had six of Ellsworth’s eight steals in the Eagles’ season-opener.“He’s a good player,” said Ellsworth Coach Peter Austin of Bagley. “He can shoot from most anywhere. He’ll be one of our go-to guys this year.”Austin also noted Cooper Henderson’s performance against Foxcroft’s Hunter Smith, a junior who ranked 4th in the Big East, averaging 17.1 points per game last year.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“He’s definitely a top five player in our league,” Austin said of Smith. “He knows how to get open, and he uses his arms and body well.”Smith was held to just 15 points, which Austin attributes to Henderson’s defense.“It was a tough and physical game,” Henderson said. “Very fast-paced.”The game remained close throughout the first half. Ellsworth led Foxcroft 13-12 with three minutes remaining in the second quarter when Bagley drove in for a layup to extend the Eagles’ lead to 15-12. A Foxcroft foul put Bagley on the free throw line, where he sunk both shots to make the score 17-12.Foxcroft hit a three-pointer on the following drive, but Bagley responded with a three-point basket of his own to keep the Ponies down 20-15 with a minute remaining before halftime.Again, Foxcroft answered with a field goal, then a three-pointer after a Bryce Harmon free throw to narrow Ellsworth’s lead to 21-20 with seconds remaining in the period.Bruce St. Peter shoots the ball in the Ellsworth boys’ basketball team’s 48-36 win over Foxcroft Academy in the Eagles’ season-opener on Friday at Ellsworth High School. St. Peter finished with six points for the night.PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSBefore time expired, Bruce St. Peter scored from under the basket as the buzzer sounded to bring the Eagles up 23-20.In the third quarter, Bagley scored all of Ellsworth’s 12 points to outscore the Ponies’ five points for the period.“I thought Cooper did a nice job on Smith, and Nick got us going in the third,” Austin said. “Those two helped us win tonight.”The Eagles led 35-25 at the beginning of the fourth quarter and maintained a lead until the end.“It was kind of a sloppy game, but obviously, I’m happy with the result,” Austin said. “Foxcroft is better than I thought they were going to be.”Henderson, St. Peter and Alex Braley all scored six points. Harmon contributed five points and seven of Ellsworth’s ten assists.“We’ve got a long ways to go,” Austin said. “We didn’t play our best, so we’ll work on that for next time we go out.”Ellsworth will play at Hermon on Wednesday.
Femi SolajaNo fewer than four Nigerian players have made their passage to play in the main draws of the second leg of 2019 Lagos Open Tennis Championship.The second leg of the ITF World Tour, sponsored by Heineken and other co-sponsors, served off yesterday morning after the conclusion of matches of the first leg on Monday at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan. In the qualifying matches decided yesterday, Nigerian Godgift Timibra defeated Ghanaian Andrew Adu Appiah in straight sets of 6-1,6-3 in the men’s event, while Paul Emmanuel beat compatriot Tochukwu Emmanuel Ezeh in another straight sets of 6-4,7-5.Gabriel Friday could not complete his match against Sylvester Emmanuel, as he retired when the result was 6-1.In the women’s qualifying games, Ronke Akingbade picked a Main Draws ticket at the expense of Ozi-Oiza Josephine Yakubu in a game that ended 7-6(1),6-1.However, local players such as Patience Onebamhoni, Aanu Aiyegbusi, Sabath Ibrahim, Sarah Adegoke, Omolade Aderemi, Amala Nwokolo, Rachel Olamide Adunoye, Albert Bisong Bikom and Wilson Oswalele Igbinovia all lost their qualifying matches last night.Meanwhile, the Main Draws of the second leg will begin this morning with matches of the first round starting from 9:30am.France’s Camry Hemery and Sada Nahimana from Burundi who won the first legs men and women’s singles respectively will have their hands full as other players will be out to stop their ambition of winning the Lagos Open Tennis back-to-back their year when the hostilities get underway at same venue.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram