NASA has actually had a string of current successes with Mars goals, however don’t allow that fool you—fifty percent of all goals to Mars end in failing. The Soviet Union formerly landed a spacecraft on Mars in 1971, however interaction was shed simply 110 secs later on. As just recently as 2017, the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander collapsed on its method to the Martian surface area. China’s initial effort on Mars was really as component of Russia’s 2011 Fobos-Grunt goal to discover Mars and also its moon Phobos. That spacecraft stopped working to leave Earth’s orbit and also wound up reentering Earth’s environment months later on, leading China to seek its very own independent goal to Mars.
Don’t anticipate Zhurong to pair up to, claim, Perseverance. The last considers over one statistics load, is nuclear-powered, has 23 cams, brings a carbon-dioxide-to-oxygen technology presentation, can take and also store examples that will certainly be gone back to Earth eventually, and also also brought a brand-new helicopter to the world. The previous is simply 240 kilos, solar-powered, has just brings 6 tools, and also is just anticipated to last for 90 Martian days (though it might extremely well make it through for longer).
Tianwen-1’s objective is to utilize its 13 tools (7 on the orbiter, 6 on the wanderer) to research the geology and also dirt mineralogy of Mars, map its water ice circulation, probe the electro-magnetic and also gravitational pressures of the world, and also define its surface area environment and also atmosphere. While the orbiter will certainly observe and also gauge these points from a worldwide viewpoint and also breaking pictures to a 2-meter resolution, Zhurong will certainly focus in on factors of intrigue at the surface area. It will certainly utilize spectroscopy to figure out what the dirt is made from, gauge electromagnetic fields on the ground, and also track weather condition modifications like temperature level and also winds.
Perhaps most fascinating is that Zhurong has a ground-penetrating radar that will certainly allow it peer right into task and also frameworks below ground 100 meters deep—10 times better than Perseverance’s radar. The hope is that this tool will certainly have the ability to find possible gets of water ice underground. Water sources might be an essential component of developing a swarm on Mars eventually. Utopia Planitia specifically is “a relatively safe place to land and a possible place to find water,” states Wang.