Chinese rover Zurong will land on Mars tonight!

After the former USSR and the United States, will China become the third country to land safely on the surface of Mars? Tonight reacts with the arrival of the Tianwen-1 mission to Rover’s Red Planet.

If everything goes according to plan, the Zurong Rover is expected to enterAtmosphere Martian and its landing will start at 23:11 on Friday evening (UTC) on Mars. More precisely. In the southern part ofUtopia planitia, On a site for which the Chinese Space Agency has not yet released coordinates. this fieldNorthern hemisphere Mars is one of the least difficult places to land on. For the record Viking 2 From NASA Landed in the northern part of 1976Utopia Planitia.

Less difficult is not easy

The Zurong rover will face the famous seven-minute panic, which is a necessary step to land on Mars. By choosing the area ofUtopia Planitia, The persons in charge of the mission gave themselves every chance to succeed in landing in safety. This area is low enough in height to give the probe enough time to apply brakes, and this southern partUtopia planitia Known for sheltering very large areas, very flat and very low hills, with only a few mounds. Sable And big rocks. The target landing ellipse is approximately 100 kilometers long and about 20 kilometers wide.

The Chinese probe Tianwen-1, which is currently orbiting the red planet, is preparing to land the Zurong rover. © CGTN

To land on Mars, Zurong will use the heat shield, a Parachute More than 15 meters in diameter and retro-rocket. Before landing, the lander will use its navigation system to locate the most suitable place. a The sensor The laser will image the ground in three dimensions and compare it with the images obtained by a camera probe to detect the most obvious place to avoid and land the most dangerous obstacles. The technologies applied to the Mars lander are based on whose heritage? Chang’e Lunar Mission, For the engine and navigation part, and manned flight program Shenzhen, For heat shield and parachute systems.

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Failure ofSchiaparelli lander In 2016, the first European trial on the subject, underlined all the difficulty of landing on Mars. Currently, only Americans make successful landings on Mars. The former Soviet Union was more or less successful in landing a lander in good condition on 3 March 1971, but communications were cut off about 20 seconds after its landing.

Who is the first Chinese rover Zurong to land on Mars?

Article by Remy décourt Published 04/05/2021

If on the red planet, NASA is at the forefront of the media scene with its adventures Helicopter, China should steal the show soon. In two or three weeks or a few days, the Zurong Rover is expected to land on Mars. She is currently aboard the Tianwen-1 investigation, working to figure out the best place to land it.

If everyone’s eyes are on the mission Firmness And thisSimplicity Helicopter Running from NASA, don’t forget that China is preparing to land on the Red Planet. In To revolve around Around the planet from 10 February, Chinese investigation Tianwen-1 Zurong is preparing to land the rover on a date that has not yet been made public, but is thought to be between mid-May and early June. If all goes according to plan, China will become the second country to land a rover on Mars after the United States. It should be noted that the former USSR was successful in landing a rover on the Red Planet in 1971, but the latter operated only for a few tens of seconds (3 March).

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To land safely in the southern part of the Zurong RoverUtopia planitia, A detailed analysis of its landing site is necessary. Actually, you should know that the Chinese space agency, unlike NASA orThatIs not a high card Resolution Of Mars. So, circumambulate it MRO (And his highrise camera) was able to provide a very detailed map from NASA, in only a few tens of centimeters of resolution, of the siteFortitude Landing Just before launch. The Tianwen-1 investigation is currently mapping the region to produce the most detailed maps. The goal is to find the most suitable place to land the rover safely in an environment where there are no crowds from large rocks and are as flat as possible.

An aspiring rover

250. Ka this rover Kilogram Is almost larger than spirit rovers and chance NASA but curiosity and persistence of about a quarter the size. Equipped with six motorized wheels, which will allow it to run like a crab, the Zurong will be able to travel up to 200 mph. It has six devices including a camera Laser Very similarInstrument camcam American Rover Curiosity. Optical cameras added to it, a radar to test the basement, a Spectrometer, a Magnetometer And a meteorological center (measurement of temperature, The expression and you Let out In a special way). Will produce its four solar panelsEnergy It is required for its operation which intends to last more than 90 days or less. If China requests, the data will be relayed by the Tianwen-1 orbiter, or even by the Mars Express probe of the European Space Agency.

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