After announcing on Thursday that it would launch its first Mars exploration mission in 2020, China has completed the first experiment in a series of many to come. The experiment involves simulating a floating probe, avoiding obstacles, and landing on Mars in Hualai County, in the northern Chinese province of Hebei.
According to officials from the Chinese National Space Administration, the mission intends to conduct a global and comprehensive exploration of Mars and conduct detailed research on key areas of Mars' surface.
Angang Rongqiao, chief designer of China's first Mars exploration mission, said the experiment simulated the red planet's landing process and confirmed the design's accuracy.
"Today's test verified procedures, including separating the landlord with the main body of the spacecraft from 70 meters and then hovering 67 meters above the surface, seeking a safe landing place and then descending 20 meters above the surface in a regime for avoiding obstacles, "said angang.
The experiment was held at Asia's largest test of extraterrestrial landing.
To test the design of the Earth, the experiment simulates the weight of Mars, about one third of the Earth's gravity.
"The test facility consists of three parts, a tower structure, a servo system and a surface Mars simulation area. The tower is 140 meters high and the top circle of the tower is 120 meters in diameter, which provides sufficient space to simulate the process of landed on Mars, "said angang.
The red platform in the middle of the tower is fixed by 36 steel cables. Through precise control, the platform is able to simulate a Martian gravitational environment for the landlord and is able to track the landlord to move accurately.
On the ground beneath the tower, engineers created slopes and craters to simulate the environment on the surface of Mars.
Ambassadors and diplomats from 19 countries, including France, Italy and Brazil, as well as representatives of the European Union, the African Union and the Asia-Pacific Organization for Space Cooperation, were invited to visit the experiment.
Anga Kejian, CNSA Administrator, said that since the official blow in 2016, the Chinese Mars Research Program has been progressing well. The flight test and obstacle avoidance test for the Mars earthquake is a key step in the project.
Angang said China is actively promoting international co-operation in space exploration. To date, China has signed over 140 protocols for cooperation in space with 45 countries and international organizations.
Earlier this month, China announced that it would make the 16-meter optical data obtained from Gaofen-1 and Gaofen-6 satellites available to global users.
"Currently, China is also actively planning large consecutive space missions, including sampling and returning from Mars, asteroid research and a number of lunar exploration. We have an open attitude and a sincere welcome to space organizations, space research institutions and foreign space enthusiasts. from different countries to participate in China's space projects in different ways to jointly promote the development of space technology, "said Ang.
(With Reuters entries)