China’s national strategy set Mars as the next target for planetary exploration after successful lunar mission. China’s first Mars mission is named Tianwen-1, and aims to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission.
The Tianwen-1 probe has a mass (including fuel) of about 5 tonnes. It has an orbiter and a lander/rover composite. The orbiter will provide a relay communication link to the rover, while performing its own scientific observations for one Martian year. The orbit during the scientific observation stage is a polar elliptical orbit (265 km × 12,000 km). The lander/rover will perform a soft landing on the Martian surface some 2–3 months after arrival of the spacecraft, with a candidate landing site in Utopia Planitia. The ~240 kg solar-powered rover is nearly twice the mass of China’s Yutu lunar rovers, and is expected to be in operation for about 90 Martian days.
The main task of Tianwen-1 is to perform a global and extensive survey of the entire planet using the orbiter, and to send the rover to surface locations.
SOURCES – China News, Nature, Global Times
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
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