Only the United States had done it before. The Chinese probe that landed on Mars is another milestone on this planet. This is the lander for Mission Tianwen 1. He has a scout vehicle called the Zhurong on board.
The probe landed in the northern hemisphere of Mars. Tianwen 1 reached the orbit of Mars in February after nearly seven months of travel. It took the ground controllers more than an hour to determine whether the landing was successful. They had to wait for the rover to deploy its solar panels autonomously.
“The Mars exploration mission was a complete success,” announced Zhang Kejian. He is the director of CNSA, a Chinese space agency. On Friday the spaceship began to descend from its park orbit. After about three hours of flight, the entry capsule raced toward the red planet. It entered the Martian atmosphere at an altitude of 125 kilometers and triggered the so-called “seven minutes of terror”.
When the speed reached 460 meters per second, a huge parachute was deployed. It covered an area of about 200 square meters. This reduced the speed to less than 100 meters per second.
The spacecraft’s parachute and outer shield were then discarded, exposing the lander and rover, and the lander’s retrorocket was activated to further reduce the ship’s speed to near zero.
Names with a story
“Each step only had one chance and the actions were closely linked. If there had been a mistake, the landing would have failed, “they said.
The name Tianwen means “questions to heaven”. It comes from a poem by the ancient Chinese poet Qu Yuan (340-278 BC). China’s first Mars explorer is called Zhurong after the god of fire in ancient Chinese mythology.
The Chinese probe that landed on Mars has clear objectives. You will map the morphology and geological structure. You will study the properties of the surface soil and the distribution of the water ice. They analyze your weather and much more.