China’s ‘Zhurang’ rover is about to land on Mars

Impressions are gained in a fluid, global, diffused way.

Impressions are gained in a fluid, global, diffused way.
Fig: Xinhua

Later today, China will try To successfully become the second country To place An investigation on Mars. Here is what we know about this historic mission And how China will try to overcome its own “seven-minute terror.”

After waiting a few months, the cat finally came out of the bag. China’s secret space agency had a heated discussion about the timing of the landing, but Ye Pejian, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Disclosure of information During a speech in Beijing yesterday, he said the new rover would reach the Martian surface on Saturday, May 15 11:11 a.m. local time (Friday, May 14 at 7:11 pm ADT / 11:11 pm UTC).

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) does not normally provide live broadcasts of its space-based activities, so we will have to wait for its official confirmation of the expected landing time soon.

In July 2020, China’s Tianwen-1 probe landed on the Red Planet on February 24, where It’s spinning Since then. The probe, which established an orbit, is now set Transmission A lander carrying a six-wheeled rover.

Protected by the heat shield, the lander will hit the Martian atmosphere at 2.5 miles (4 km / s) per second, followed by “seven minutes of terror” – a stage when mission controllers cannot respond quickly enough due to the uninterrupted distance involved (approaching Mars). Takes 18 minutes of radio signal).

Lander “will use two reliable technologies – it is a laser range finder where it relates to Martian terrain and microwave sensors to determine its speed more accurately,” explained Deep Bandivadekar, a PhD candidate at the University of Strathclyde. Post Published in conversation. “These will be used for navigational correction at the parachute-raised stage. At the end of the driven descent phase, optical and liqueur imaging will help identify hazards. “

Illustration of Zhurong Rover and its instruments.

Illustration of Zhurong Rover and its instruments
Fig: Zou Yongliao et al., 2021 / Progress in space research

After getting inside Utopia Planetia, The craft will deploy a ramp, which the 530-pound (240 kg) rover will use to reach the surface. Jhurang Mars rover, whose name The next three months will be spent using his various scientific instruments, translated into “Fire God” Study Mars regulator, rock, geology and atmosphere. The rover will also search for traces of surface ice. This is now the second mission of Utopia Planetia, the previous one is NASA Viking Lander 2 In 1976.

If the landing is successful, China will be the second country to effectively investigate Mars, the United States another. Some may have doubled and the Soviets included 3 landers on Mars, which made a soft landing on Mars in 1971 (The Very fast Soft landing on Mars, to give them credit) but it was able to send data for only two minutes of permanent shutdown (the search was conducted to send a gray image without any details). A total of nine NASA missions have reached the Martian surface since 1976. The European Space Agency attempted to land a rover as part of its 201 Exomers mission, but the Schiprely lander Has crashed Due to a software error.

As well as NASA’s perseverance rover and the United Arab Emirates Hope to investigate, The Tianwen-1 mission is one of three missions to reach Mars this year. If successful, Xurong will join the diligence in science management (including his helicopter), the Curiosity rover and the stable Insight search. On the surface of Mars.

More: Five things to know about the first mission to Mars in the UAE.

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