China has revealed its novel design concept for a Mars mission, expected to take place in the 2020s. The country wants to put a probe and a rover on the Red Planet around 2020.
China is investing billions in its own version of a space research program. It is also aiming to keep up with the United States and Europe.
Zhang Rongqiao, the chief engineer of the project declared that his team faced unprecedented challenges.
The Chinese rocket carrying the crew will be launched from the Wenchang site, located in the southern province of Hainan.
The Mars lander will detach from the orbiter, following a seven-month journey and it’s going to touch down close to the Martian Equator. After landing, the rover is going to explore the Red Planet’s surface.
The rover weighs approximately 400 pounds or 200 kilograms. It’s got six wheels, four solar panels and it’s going to remain in operation for 90 days, according to Chinese reports.
The rover will feature 13 types of equipment, such as a remote camera, a radar, and tools to study the structure of Mars and look for sources of water or ice.
China’s growing ambitions are nowhere more visible than in the expensive space exploration program.
The first lunar rover made in China was launched towards the end of 2013. Despite mechanical difficulties, the rover surprised everybody by sending signals back to Earth but finally shut down this month.
So far, China has recreated activities which had already been undertaken by the United States and Soviet governments, decades ago. India beat China in the race to Mars, by putting a low-cost probe into Mars’ orbit, in September 2014.
America has landed two rovers on Martian surface. The European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union also sent missions to the neighboring planet.
The first Chinese attempt to put a satellite into Mars’ orbit halted in 2011 when the Russian rocket which was supposed to carry the satellite did not make it out of Earth’s orbit.
What’s your opinion on this article? Do you think China will ever achieve putting a satellite into Martian orbit, or even landing on Mars? Please leave a comment below. Thank you!
Image Source – Wikipedia