China's Mars Mission spacecraft Tianwen-1 captured by NASA's camera
Washington : NASA has a Planetary Defense Coordination Office which has the responsibility to survey the universe and keep an eye out for any dangerous or hazardous objects that could cause any sort of damage to the Earth. It tracks asteroids and space rocks and their routes. It also maps their paths, just in case of them comes close enough to the Earth to cause damage. During one of their survey's via the ATLAS-MLO telescope, they spotted China's spacecraft which was headed towards the Red Planet, Mars.
China launched a spacecraft named Tiawen-1 on a Mars Mission. This spacecraft is on a seven-month-long journey to Mars and was launched just a few days ago. This spacecraft has an orbiter, a lander as well as a rover. This spacecraft was spotted by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) of the Hawaiian observatories. A small video of the same was posted by NASA's Asteroid Watch on their official Twitter account.
During routine survey operations for hazardous #asteroids for @NASA’s #PlanetaryDefense Coordination Office, the @fallingstarIfA ATLAS-MLO telescope spotted China’s Tianwen-1 on its way to #Mars. Bon Voyage Tianwen-1! pic.twitter.com/Kc5SQjljgc— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) July 24, 2020
There was a three week time period during which the orbits of the planets are aligned and this is the best time to launch spacecraft for a Mars Mission. Three spacecraft were launched during this time. One was launched by the United Arab Emirates and the second one was Tianwen-1 which was launched by China and the third one will be NASA's huge rover named Perseverance which is to be launched on 30th of July. This will also carry an experimental helicopter named Ingenuity.