CNSA - China National Space Administration logo.
August 24, 2016
China released the first images of synthesis of unmanned vehicle it plans to land on the Red Planet in 2020.
China's Mars 2020 lander using thrusters to land on the Martian surface
China, investing billions of euros in its ambitious space program to catch up on the United States and Europe, announced in April its intention to send such a "rover" to Mars.
Zhang Rongqiao, the chief designer of the project, said Tuesday targeting a launch for July or August 2020, according to the official Xinhua news agency. "The challenges are without precedent," he stressed, however.
China's Mars 2020 lander ready for the descent of the rover
A rocket "Long March-5" will be launched from the new no Chinese shooting Wenchang, in the island province of Hainan (South), the agency said, citing Ye Peijian, counselor of the mission. The lander will separate from the orbiter at the end of an Earth-Mars travel about seven months and is expected to land near the equator of Mars, where the vehicle should explore the Martian surface has Xinhua said.
200 kilos of technology
The "rover", weighing 200 kilos, will be equipped with six wheels and four solar panels, and should be operational for about 92 days, the source said. It will carry 13 facilities - including a remote sensing camera and radar - to study the composition of the soil, the environment and atmosphere, looking in particular water and ice tracks.
The rover will be equipped with six wheels and four solar panels
China's space program, a source of national pride and led by the army, is symbolic of the growing international status occupied by China. China's first lunar unmanned vehicle - the "Jade Rabbit" - was launched in late 2013, alternating on the Moon prowess, technical problems and resurrections before finally extinguished early August to the end of a life more long as hoped. However, China has so far mainly been content to repeat the exploits space already made by the United States and Europe.
Beijing has also been overtaken by India, in September 2014 became the first Asian country to reach Mars with a low-cost sensor placed in orbit around the red planet. The United States have already ask two unmanned vehicle on Mars, and ROSCOSMOS (Russia) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have also conducted missions to the planet. In 2011, China's first attempt to send a satellite into orbit around Mars had ended in failure.
For more information about China Space Program, visit:
http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/ and http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n6443408/index.html
Images, Text, Credits: CNSA/NXP/AFP/Xinhua/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.
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