One such NASA-affiliated observatory spotted the recently-launched Chinese Mars mission and shared its bright images on Twitter.
MUST researchers participated "deeply in the scientific research work of China's first Mars exploration mission" and are "responsible for the development, production, data processing and analysis of the separable telemetry probe of the Mars Engineering Measurement Subsystem Orbiter ".
China successfully launched its first Mars probe on Thursday from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern island province of Hainan, official media here reported.
The tandem spacecraft, Tianwen-1 or "quest for heavenly truth", will take seven months to reach Mars and if it goes well, it will look for possible ancient life and underground water. The mission will attempt to successfully deploy an orbiter, a lander and a rover, as explained by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in a paper published in the journal, Nature.
The orbiter's capabilities are comparable to other spacecraft already circling Mars. The orbiter will remain in the orbit for scientific operations and to relay signals while the lander-rover combination makes an autonomous descent and landing.
The Perseverance rover explores Mars in this artist's rendering.
The rover's journey began at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the place the automobile was constructed earlier than being totally examined in preparation for its hard Mars mission.
"Mr. Musk says he's going to be sending a number of people to Mars in the not-very-distant future", he said.
It also features innovative solar cells, battery, avionics, sensors, telecommunications, and other designs and algorithms, in addition to off-the-shelf components such as two smartphone cameras, an altimeter, inclinometer, and computer processors.
Space exploration has taken on symbolic significance in the U.S. The Company's mission is to make the complicated world simpler through technology.
Liu Tongjie, spokesman for the mission, said there will be challenges ahead as the spacecraft nears Mars. It's set to arrive at perhaps the most fascinating point in the history of space exploration - as astronomers, planetary scientists, and biologists all attempt to understand the martian environment.
"But if we start off viewing intriguing factors on the area of Mars that we cannot clarify in the spectra, then we will glance again to the calibration goal to make positive that the instrument's operating the right way".
Perseverance will aim to collect preserved organic molecules and other potential signs of microbial life in this area. Perseverance will land at the Red Planet's Jezero Crater a little after 3:40 p.m. EST (12:40 p.m. PST) on February 18, 2021.
"The more we know about Mars, the better prepared we are to send humans there and get them home safely", Ken Williford, deputy project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, told UPI. Tianwen means "Questions to Heaven" and comes from a poem by Yuan Qu, one of the greatest poets of ancient China who lived from around 340 to 278 BCE. "Bon Voyage Tianwen-1!" And, perhaps, those samples will bring us the first firm evidence of alien life.