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China unveils landing test on Mars – Science



On the 14th, China invited foreign diplomats and journalists to reveal the Mars landing test. The experiment, led by the Chinese National Port Authority (CNSA), took place in Huai Lai, Hebei Province, about one and a half hours north of Beijing.

This is the first time China has launched the world of space technology testing internationally. CNSA said in a statement, "This event is the first public announcement about China's mission to explore Mars and is an important step for China to conduct international space exchanges and cooperation."

An imitation lander prepares to test. There are obstacles to imitating the shape of Mars land © CGTN

An imitation lander prepares to test. There are obstacles mimicking the landforms of Mars. © CGTN

More than 70 people from 19 countries participated in the experiment, including main ambassadors from France, Italy and Brazil, as well as major foreign journalists such as CNN, AP, and Reuters. This large-scale public event was held to promote China's trust in space exploration and international cooperation in the development of space in the future.

Changsha Gian CNSA said in his speech, "China has officially launched a Mars exploration mission in 2016, and all development work is ongoing." An important part of the process. The first Mars exploration in China will begin in 2020 according to schedule. "

Test facility height of 140m to simulate the gravity of Mars and the surface environment. © CGTN

Test facility height of 140m to simulate the gravity of Mars and the surface environment. © CGTN

According to CASC, the main operator of the Chinese space program, the simulated lander has succeeded in conducting an obstacle avoidance experiment in an environment that reproduces the weaker gravity of Mars. A fridge-sized lander, dependent on 36 steel cables, rises to 140m above ground and stops at 1m after hovering. In this process, the propulsion burner can change the direction down by itself.

Zhang Rong Chao, chief architect of the Mars Exploration Mission, said, "It takes about seven months to reach Mars after the vehicle is launched, and the final landing process takes about seven minutes. The final landing process is the most difficult and dangerous step in the overall mission. "Experiments prove the most difficult part of the landing of Mars.

The lander successfully completes the test of drifting, obstacle avoidance and deceleration. © CGTN

The lander successfully completes the test of drifting, obstacle avoidance and deceleration. © CGTN

The only country that successfully landed Mars was the United States.

The countries that have tried to land Mars so far are the Soviet Union, the United States and the European Union. The Soviets, who first tried to land on Mars, tried to land several times, but all failed. In 1971, Soviet Mars 3 appeared to be the first to successfully land on Mars, but communication was interrupted shortly after landing.

The United States has made eight successful landing attempts, starting with Viking 1 in 1976, and currently has a geological investigation of Curiosity Rover and Insight on the surface of Mars.

The European Union failed because of an attempted landing that was unknown to Beagle 2 in 2003, and in 2016, the lander Skiparelli attempted to land on Mars but fell on the surface of Mars due to a defect of height sensors.

In addition, the US, Soviet Union, European Union, and India succeeded in sending rides to Mars. The Nozomi investigation launched by Japan in 1998 did not reach Mars orbit, and China sent a small investigation called Ingung No. 1 along with the Russian investigation of Phobos-Grunt in 2011, but fell to Earth.

The China Mars probe was launched last October. © CGTN / CASC

The China Mars probe was launched last October. © CGTN / CASC

US, China and Europe Mars Landing Competition

2020 is the year to go to Mars every two years. At this time, the United States, the European Union and China are each preparing to send Mars landers, all of which will be launched between mid-July and early August next year.

NASA plans to send the Mars explorer 2020 to Mars as a follow-up to Curiosity. Mars 2020 weighs 1050 kg and is the largest exploration explorer ever. Landing at the same time when Mars arrived in February 2021, the small hum that accompanied it would fly on the first Mars flight.

The European Space Agency (ESA), which failed Skiaparelli to land, sent an ExoMars 2020 inquiry back to Mars. This time, in cooperation with Russia, the company is developing landers (828kg) and plows (320kg). Exomas 2020 is expected to land in March 2021, following Mars 2020.

The Mars probe, which is being developed in China, is temporarily named Huoxing-1 (HX-1). It consists of landers and explorers, and solar cell powered explorers weighing 240 kg. It reached Mars in February 2021, but the satellite orbited it first. The landing will be tried around April.


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