SCIENCE

China’s Tianan 1 is about to enter Mars orbit

After 196 days of flying in space, China’s Tianan 1 is scheduled to enter Mars orbit on February 10, two days before the Chinese New Year.

According to a statement yesterday by the China Space Science and Technology Corporation (CAST), the Mars Tianan 1 explorer has flown more than 450 million km and is currently about 170 million km from Earth. In the coming days, the ship needs to perform a “brake” action to slow down, ensuring that it will be captured by the planet’s gravity.

“The braking mission is critical to the mission’s success. If it fails, the spacecraft will fly over Mars and” go astray “in the Solar System,” said Bao Weimin, director of science and technology. CAST, emphasis.

During braking, the navigation, navigation and automatic control systems will play a key role because they are responsible for calculating and adjusting each action. “Usually, the ground team will give the engine starting instructions, but this time, the explorer will do it automatically and we only know its status from the nearly one hour telemetry data. after that, “said Li Zhencai, deputy commander of the Thien Van 1 project.

The China’s Tianan 1 spacecraft – including an orbital ship, lander and probe robot – was launched with the heavy missile Truong Chinh 5 in March 2020. This is China’s first independent Mars mission. If everything goes according to plan, the ship will enter the orbit of the red planet on February 10. At that time, it was about 193 million km from Earth with a total flight distance of more than 470 million km.

The ultimate goal of the mission is to land the lander in the southern part of Mars and deploy exploration robots to conduct scientific surveys in the Utopia Planitia region, a vast plain in the Utopia basin. – The largest impact crater in the solar system with an estimated diameter of up to 3,300km.

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