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Thread: China's Mars exploration ambitions

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    China's Mars exploration ambitions

    China has already indicated they will be launching an orbiter, lander and rover to Mars in 2020. Now they are building a Mars simulation base.

    http://english.cctv.com/2017/07/28/A...OG170728.shtml

    Prepping for the Mars Mission, China has selected a remote site in northwest China's Qinghai Province to construct a 'Simulated Mars Station,' which will also be used for training astronauts, research lab and tourist scene.

    Three-quarters of Qinghai is covered by the Gobi Desert, while the rest of the province has mountains, grasslands, rivers and lakes.

    The 'Simulated Mars Station' would stand ideally located in the Qaidam Basin, a hyper-arid region with land and air conditions that resemble Mars' surface. The climate is cold, windy and dry.

    Most importantly, the spot remains sparsely-populated and isolated. Astronauts must survive functioning inside a spaceship for over 500 days just to travel from Earth to Mars.

    Only candidates with good health and a strong mental capacity to endure deep psychological strain for lengthy periods of time can succeed.

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    More details of the location of the base.

    http://www.sixthtone.com/news/100140...e-economy-soar

    As local tour guide Zhang Qingzhe led a fleet of cars carrying members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) down Highway 315, a vast expanse of red earth loomed before them. This is Hongya, or Red Cliff: an area in the Gobi Desert rarely traversed by humans, Zhang told the scientists, who had come looking for a place to build China’s groundbreaking Mars exploration base.

    Situated more than 3,000 meters above sea level in the Qaidam Basin area of western Qinghai province, Hongya closely resembles the red planet’s geography. Here, shifts in tectonic plates have caused mountains to rise and water to recede in what once was a desert oasis. Millions of years of wind erosion have chiseled out pillars of sand, known as yardang — a Uyghur word meaning “steep-walled hillock.”

    Zhang first heard about the basin of red earth, shaped like an ear, in 2008 from a traveler he rescued who was attempting to cross Da Qaidam, a county in the northern part of the basin. After several unsuccessful searches, Zhang finally found the Mars-like landscape two years later when he followed a dried-up riverbank deep into an immense red valley. Mysterious rock formations, the likes of which he had never seen, rose up out of the earth throughout the basin, creating a breathtaking landscape

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    Andrew Jones on China's Mars sample return mission.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest...urn-plans.html

    China is making steady progress on a proposed mission to bring a piece of Mars back to Earth in the late 2020s.

    The project would be a massive undertaking. But the plans appear serious, and if successful, the mission could result in major scientific discoveries and tremendous prestige—especially if NASA's plans for a similar mission don't get off the ground.

    China's space capabilities and ambitions have been growing rapidly in recent years. The country successfully launched two small space stations into Earth orbit and visited them with astronauts, while making rapid advances in robotically exploring the Moon.

    Now, China is looking to explore the wider solar system, starting with Mars—Huoxing, or literally 'fire star,' in Chinese.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    China has already indicated they will be launching an orbiter, lander and rover to Mars in 2020. Now they are building a Mars simulation base.

    http://english.cctv.com/2017/07/28/A...OG170728.shtml
    The base has been completed.

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1140707.shtml

    China has opened its first Mars simulation base to the public to encourage young people to get involved in space exploration.

    The Mars simulation base, which opened on Friday, is located in Mangai city, in Northwest China's Qinghai Province.

    The red rock area in the Qaidam Basin in Qinghai has been called the most "Martian" place on Earth, with its natural features, landscape and climate all similar to those on the red planet, said Gao Junling, the project founder.

    The region has the country's largest Yardang landform. The temperatures here vary greatly between day and night, similar to those on Mars, according to Gao.

    He said that participants could immerse themselves in the environment and try to solve problems they might face on Mars, such as planting potatoes on Mars for food supply and solar power generation.
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    "Inside view of Mars simulation base in Gansu"

    http://en.people.cn/n3/2019/0531/c90000-9583363.html

    Photo taken on May 29, 2019 shows a Mars simulation base in the barren, windswept hills of Jinchang City, Northwest China’s Gansu Province. Planned to cover 67 square kilometers, Mars Base 1 Camp will include nine modules including a greenhouse and a mock decompression chamber. Authorities hope the camp will boost tourism and allow visitors to feel as though they are on the Red Planet.
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    NASA's forum on China has the payloads broken down into orbitor, lander and rover.

    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/in...364#msg2003364

    Chinese 2020 Mars orbiter, lander and rover payloads
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    "China unveils first picture of its Mars explorer"

    http://www.ecns.cn/news/sci-tech/201...h5817067.shtml

    The China Aerospace Technology Corporation unveiled the first picture of the country's Mars explorer, a spacecraft set to be launched into Mars in 2020.

    "The mission is going smoothly. If no surprise, the Mars explorer is going to be launched in 2020, and land before 2021," said Ye Jianpei, chief scientist of Space Science and Deep-space Exploration with the Chinese Space Technology Academy.
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    see a one minute 18 second on China's Mars mission.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdj8-XSOAg8

    China unveils its 2020 Mars probe
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    "Watch China Simulate a Mars Landing for 2020 Mission to Red Planet (Video)"

    https://www.space.com/china-simulate...0-mission.html

    China just tested out its brand-new facility for simulating Mars landings, marking a big step in the nation's planned march to the Red Planet.

    The facility in northern China's Hebei Province includes a tower nearly 460 feet (140 meters) tall, a servo system and a Martian surface simulation area.

    The highly touted test yesterday (Nov. 14) is prelude to China launching a Mars mission in 2020 — a project that aims to complete orbiting, landing and roving all in one go, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "Watch China Simulate a Mars Landing for 2020 Mission to Red Planet (Video)"

    https://www.space.com/china-simulate...0-mission.html
    Have they announced a landing site yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    Have they announced a landing site yet?
    not that I know off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    not that I know off.
    Thanks

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    "China to launch Mars probe in July"

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/202..._138729113.htm

    China announced that it will launch its first Mars mission probe in July this year, China Youth Daily reported Thursday, adding that this is the first time the country disclosed the launch month of its Mars exploration program.

    The Mars probe will be sent by the Long March-5 Y4 carrier rocket, said the newspaper, citing sources from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
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    "Mars probe passes tests for signal transmission"

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/20200...21727dd95.html

    Chinese scientists and engineers finished a major test on Tuesday in Beijing to verify the compatibility between ground control and China's first Mars probe, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

    The center said in a statement sent to China Daily that the test, the first of its kind in the country, successfully examined the signal transmission and interfaces between the ground systems and the robotic probe, which is scheduled to start its journey to the red planet before the end of this year.

    Technical plans and statuses as well as related hardware and software were put to comprehensive trial runs, the statement said, adding that all procedures were similar to those that will be used in the mission.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    Have they announced a landing site yet?
    From data from recent presentations and interviews the writer has taken a educated guess on possible landing sites.

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/...s-mission-news

    China aims to become only the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on the surface of Mars (NASA was first with a pair of Viking landers in 1976 if you don’t count the former Soviet Union’s 1971 Mars 3 mission). With just a few months before launch, China is still keeping key mission details quiet. But we can discern a few points about where and how it will attempt a landing on the Red Planet from recent presentations and interviews.
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    China's Mars mission has a name - Tianwen-1

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/202..._139004464.htm

    China's first Mars exploration mission has been named Tianwen-1, announced the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Friday, China's Space Day.

    The name comes from the long poem "Tianwen," meaning Questions to Heaven, written by Qu Yuan (about 340-278 BC), one of the greatest poets of ancient China.

    In "Tianwen," Qu Yuan raised a series of questions in verse involving the sky, stars, natural phenomena, myths and the real world, showing his doubts about some traditional concepts and the spirit of seeking the truth.

    CNSA said all of China's planetary exploration missions in the future will be named the Tianwen series, signifying the Chinese nation's perseverance in pursuing truth and science and exploring nature and the universe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    Have they announced a landing site yet?
    Article in spacenews indicates it might be in Utopia Planitia.

    https://spacenews.com/rocket-arrives...ission-launch/

    Two landing areas have been outlined, with a candidate landing site in Utopia Planitia. The landing ellipse is understood to be around 100 x 40 kilometers.
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    "Expert explains China's first Mars mission between July and August"

    http://www.ecns.cn/news/sci-tech/202...i8642089.shtml

    China plans to launch its first Mars exploration mission Tianwen-1 between July and August, Bao Weimin, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and director of the Science and Technology Commission at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, has told CCTV while sharing details about the mission.

    According to the plan, the Mars probe will release a rover after a soft landing on the planet and the rover will stay on Mars for 90 Mars sols, or days, on a variety of missions, including reconnaissance and exploration of the Martian landscape.

    "A day on Mars is about 24 hours and 37 minutes, the designed life of the rover is 90 Mars sols, more than three months on Earth," Bao explained in the interview.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "Expert explains China's first Mars mission between July and August"

    http://www.ecns.cn/news/sci-tech/202...i8642089.shtml
    Have they picked a landing site yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    Have they picked a landing site yet?
    It might be it might be in Utopia Planitia. See post #17.
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    First time I have seen the Chinese Mars rover has a name = "Chitu (Red Rabbit)"

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/06/china-...us-into-space/

    [QUOTEThe Chinese Martian rover, named Chitu (Red Rabbit), will make China the third country to land on Mars after the United States and the former Soviet Union.

    And unlike the phased programs of the two countries that initially sent spacecraft into orbit the red plant before dropping a probe or a rover to land on its surface in subsequent missions, China aims to reach the planet in one go.

    The core technology essential for such a mission includes remote sensoring, autopilot, maneuvering and precise control, as well as deep space communication.][/QUOTE]
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    Science on China's Mars mission.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020...-space-leaders

    NASA’s Perseverance rover may have company on the Red Planet. China aims to leap to the front ranks in planetary exploration with an ambitious Mars mission, its first independent bid to reach the planet. Tianwen-1—“quest for heavenly truth”—consists of not only an orbiter, but also a lander and a rover, a trifecta no other nation has accomplished on its first Mars bid. “A successful landing would put China among elite company,” says Mason Peck, an aerospace engineer at Cornell University.

    Due to launch in July, the mission, if successful, would mark dramatic progress for China’s space program. In recent years it has fielded several lunar landers but made only one attempt on Mars, an orbiter that piggybacked on a failed 2011 Russian mission to the martian moon Phobos.

    A Mars landing is among the most challenging feats in spaceflight. Unlike the Moon, Mars has an atmosphere, which means landers need protection from the heat generated during descent. But its air is too thin for a parachute alone to slow a lander; retrorockets are needed as well. And the entire sequence must be executed autonomously. Of 18 lander or rover missions to Mars, only 10 have been successful. Nine of those 10 were NASA missions. A Russian probe landed successfully, but almost immediately lost communications.
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    "China eyes July 20-25 launch for Mars rover"

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...rover-12891548

    China's first Mars rover should launch later this month, authorities said Wednesday (Jul 1), as the country races to catch up with the US dominance of space.

    The Tianwen-1 Mars rover is scheduled to blast off from Hainan island, off China's south coast, between Jul 20 - 25, according to the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.

    It will be China's first interplanetary mission, and takes place shortly before the next US Mars rover - timed to launch no earlier than Jul 30.

    Named after an ancient Chinese poem, the Tianwen-1 consists of an orbiter, rover and lander, and is expected to collect samples from the planet's surface, the launch centre said.
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