China’s Zhurong Mars rover, mounted on a rocket-powered lander, left the Tianwen-1 mother orbiter on Friday and landed a touchdown on the red planet, the official news agency confirmed. It is a superpowerful work that highlights the growing bravery of China’s space program.
The China National Space Administration confirmed that Zhurong, named after the Chinese mythological god of fire, landed on a wide plains called Utopia Planitia on Friday at 7:18 p.m. EDT (7:18 p.m. Saturday, according to Beijing time) after a thin fire blazed through the atmosphere of Mars.
Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s space science director at NASA headquarters, congratulated China on the landing̵7;s success, tweeting: “Together with the global scientific community, I look forward to making important contributions to this mission for humanity to understand the red planet.”
Like NASA’s previous Perseverance rover, Zhurong relies on a heat shield and a protective spray to protect it from the highest temperatures that occur after nearly three miles per second of atmospheric layers. As it passes through the heat zone, the large plasma parachute is likely to loosen as planned, significantly slowing down the craft to reduce the speed of sound.
Finally, about seven minutes after the atmospheric class, the lander was programmed to free from the parachute, firing a small rocket engine to land on the surface.
After extensive testing and payments – China did not disclose the rover’s schedule – the two-ramps will unfold, causing the six-wheel rover to roll off the pedestrians’ top deck and land onto the surface. It has been at least three months of robotic exploration.
“Tianwen-1 is about to orbit, land, and launch all of the rover in the first experiment,” the mission manager wrote before the launch in the journal Nature Astronomy. Will indicate an important technical progress. “
Tianwen-1 spacecraft and the Zhurong landerOn February 10, seven months after launch from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. Eight days later, NASA’s Perseverance rover, valued at $ 2.4 billion. In the Jezero crater along the Utopia Planitia.
The nuclear-powered Endeavor is NASA’s ninth and most technologically advanced Mars lander capable of reaching the surface successfully, with a sophisticated set of cameras, spectrometers and other instruments designed. Come to look for signs of past microbial life.
It also has a sophisticated sampling mechanism to collect rock and soil samples for eventual return to Earth, and is equipped with a small helicopter – brilliance – that has conducted five successful flight tests to date.
Tianwen-1 is the first all-China mission to the Red Planet and the most complex interplanetary investigation to date. While not in the same league as Perseverance, the combination of powerful spacecraft and surface rover for China’s first attempt at Mars is a harbinger of more ambitious missions to take place.
Only two other nations – the United States and the Soviet Union – have landed a spacecraft on Mars.NASA’s record is on nine out of 10 successful landings, as Russia endured the failure of its people. Landed eight times with only some success.
“Life on Mars, of course, we are the life of the party!”
The parent spacecraft Tianwen-1, which will remain in orbit around the Mars poles for the duration of the two-year mission, has seven instruments: high and medium-resolution cameras. Ground penetrating radar Mineralogy spectrometer Magnetic field meter And two electrically charged particle detectors
The 530-pound rover, the size of NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rover that landed on Mars in 2004, has six instruments: multi-spectral cameras, terrain cameras, ground-penetrating radar, meteorological magnetic field detector. Sensors and so on.
Like Perseverance, Chinese flight controllers will not be able to operate the Zhurong rover in real time. Mars and Earth are now 198 million miles apart, and radio signals travel 186,000 miles per second, taking nearly 18 minutes to cross the bay.
But the flight controller will upload commands for the rover and wait for the results to return to Earth via the Tianwen-1 spacecraft.
China has succeeded in sending two rover to the moon, including a far-flung lander that has never been seen before. Attempts to send a spacecraft to Mars atop a Russian rocket in 2011 ended in failure when the Zenit booster malfunctioned.