China’s Mars exploration : “new dawn”

The red platform in the middle of the tower is slowly rising, the lander is ignited, the tower is separated, the suspension barrier is avoided… Everyone present was in high spirits. This is the integrated test site for the landing of extraterrestrial objects in Huailai, Hebei Province. On November 14th, China’s Mars exploration mission finally unveiled its mystery here, making its first public appearance, and the Mars Exploration Mission lander’s hover-avoidance test was a complete success.

China’s Mars rover lander hovers over barrier test site.

Xinhua News Agency

China’s Mars rover lander hovers over barrier test site.

Xinhua News Agency


Perfect landing

The site of the experiment is Asia’s largest integrated extraterrestrial object landing test site, which simulates the gravitational environment of Mars. Our reporter saw at the scene, the test tower height of about 140 meters, through the ring frame connected to the column-shaped steel structure, the formation of the inner ring diameter of 120 meters, space is sufficient to simulate the Mars landing process required space; And can precisely follow the rover’s descent process; the ground is paved with special materials and forms craters or slopes to simulate the environment on the surface of Mars.

“After the probe’s launch, it takes about seven months to fly to Mars, and it lasts only seven minutes to land on Mars, so this is the most difficult and challenging part of the journey. Mars is very different from Earth’s natural environment, where gravity is only one-third of Earth’s. Zhang Rongqiao, chief designer of China’s first Mars exploration mission, told reporters at the scene. Therefore, this experiment simulates the process of hovering, avoiding obstacles and slowing down in the Martian environment, and comprehensively verifies the design accuracy. Zhang Rongqiao said: “Today’s experiment is mainly to simulate the separation from the 70-meter height tower, hover at a height of 67 meters, at this height to find a safe landing area on the ground, and then avoid the barrier down to 20 meters height.” “

It is understood that China’s first Mars exploration mission is scheduled to be implemented in 2020, the goal is to achieve a launch mission, Mars orbiting and landing patrol, mars global and comprehensive exploration, and the surface of Mars in key areas of fine exploration. In other words, compared with the three-step plan of “around, fall and back” of China’s lunar exploration project, Mars exploration will be launched to achieve orbiting, landing and reconnaissance of Mars. The mission is not arduous, and a safe landing is arguably one of the most difficult challenges of the Mars exploration mission.

Red Seduction

Mystery is endless.

Mars, the planet that is more than 50 million kilometers from Earth and 400 million kilometers away, has attracted the attention of countless people. Mars exploration, can be said to be the current international frontier of scientific and technological innovation activities.

Curiosity for outer space and extraterrestrial life is a major driving force for human exploration of Mars. There is some similarity between the Martian environment and the Earth’s environment, which has been of great interest in Mars exploration. Over the years, science fiction works on Mars have emerged, from the familiar “Uncle Martin” as a child to the recent hit “Mars Rescue”, which has placed countless human space dreams on its back.

Experts say studying Mars could provide many lessons for humanity. Mars is the most earth-like planet in the solar system, Mars not only has the atmosphere, but also the right temperature, but also has a similar rotation cycle to Earth. Studying the similarities and differences between Mars and Earth is a valuable basic research.

In 2018,media published reports that scientists had found evidence of liquid water under the Martian Antarctic ice sheet. The discovery has rekindled enthusiasm for exploring the red planet of Mars. Some scientists have analyzed the scientific significance of Mars exploration from five aspects, such as exploring the existence of life on Mars, studying the long-term evolution of the Martian magnetic field, studying the evolution of the atmosphere and climate of Mars, and studying the Martian topography, geomorphological features and zoning.

Pragmatic and open

Be honest and sincere.

The day’s test observation activities are not only the first public appearance of China’s Mars exploration mission, but also China’s pragmatic space international exchanges and cooperation of important measures. China’s National Space Administration invited ambassadors and envoys from 19 countries, including France, Italy and Brazil, about 70 representatives of the European Union, the African Union Mission in China, representatives of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization and Chinese andmedia reporters, to the event, fully demonstrating the open attitude of China’s space industry to strengthen international exchanges and cooperation.

In fact, in the 60 years since China’s space development, China has actively promoted international cooperation and has signed more than 140 space cooperation agreements with 45 countries and international organizations.

For example, China and France jointly developed the Sino-French ocean satellite, astronomical satellite, and Italy jointly developed the Sino-Italian electromagnetic satellite, and Brazil jointly developed the Sino-Pakistan Earth Resources series satellite, known as the “South-South high technical cooperation” model.

During the Chang’e-4 mission, China has carried out active international cooperation with Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Argentina and other countries, and in April this year issued an announcement on cooperation opportunities for the Chang’e-6 and asteroid exploration, which has won wide acclaim from the international community.

At the recent opening ceremony of earth observation organization 2019 Conference Week, China’s National Space Administration announced that high-scoring 1 and 6 satellites 16 meters resolution optical data will be open to the world sharing.

These initiatives have brought benefits to the expansion of the sharing of space technology achievements among more countries, especially developing countries, and to the advancement of socio-economic development. Zhang Kejian, director of the State Space Administration, said that exploring the vast universe is the common dream of all mankind, and China stands for strengthening international exchanges and cooperation in space flight and sharing the fruits of space development on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, peaceful use and inclusive development. China’s National Space Administration is ready to work with space agencies, space science research entities and foreign space science enthusiasts to strengthen cooperation in the follow-up major space engineering missions, jointly promote the development of the space industry, and contribute more wisdom and strength to the construction of a community of human destiny, human civilization and social progress.

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