The Chinese have collected their first rover.
China completed the assembly of the rover, which will go to Mars in 2020, reports the Global Times. The rover is to become the first Chinese vehicle to successfully reach Mars.
Over the past ten years, China has achieved great success in its own space program. During this time, the country successfully launched two manned near-earth stations and two lunar rovers, and in 2018 came out on top in the number of space launches. In addition, in 2011, together with the Russian station Phobos-Grunt, the first Chinese Martian probe was launched into space, but both vehicles were lost due to the failure of the on-board computer.
The second Chinese mission to explore Mars, in addition to the orbital probe, also includes a landing gear and a rover. After the landing module lands, it will leave the rover, which will explore the planet for at least 92 days. The scientific mission of the orbiter should be at least a year. The rover will conduct studies of the chemical composition of the soil, as well as its distribution. For the last task, a radar was installed on the rover, capable of collecting information about the ground at a depth of one hundred meters.
The mass of the rover is 240 kilograms. The device will receive energy only with the help of solar panels. Such an approach is potentially less reliable than the use of a thermoelectric generator, as on the “Curiosity” rover, because in this case the device is vulnerable to dust storms. It is precisely because of this that NASA recently lost the Opportunity rover, which successfully carried out its mission for 5,352 Martian days instead of the originally planned 90.
On June 7, 2019, the head of the Chinese lunar program, Ouyang Ziyuan (Ouyang Ziyuan), said that the specialists of the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) had finished assembling the rover. All three mission vehicles will be launched to Mars in a year. The launch is tentatively scheduled for July 23, 20120. The vehicles are expected to go into orbit around Mars at the end of February 2021. Some time after this, the landing module with the rover will separate from the orbital probe and begin to descend. After braking with a protective shield against the atmosphere, it will release a parachute, and at the final stage of descent it will brake with the help of jet engines.