Science Space

Tianwen-1 gets into orbit around Mars

Tianwen-1 has entered orbit. This is the first Chinese interplanetary mission. Tianwen-1 burned its thrusters in 15 minutes at around 6:52 a.m. Eastern.  This allowed the spacecraft that weighs five tonnes to reduce speed to be captured by Mars gravitationally. The Mars orbit insertion was developed to put Tianwen-1 into the orbit of 400 by 180000KM. Tianwen-1 inclined by 10-degree and has an orbital time of 10 days.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. said that Tianwen would lower its orbit for Mars observations. It is also expected to start preparing for the entry and landing trial of a 240KG solar-powered rover, which will be held in May or June. At bout 265KM from the Earth’s surface, the orbiter will approach, enabling a high-resolution camera to capture images with a resolution of 0.05 meters per pixel.

Tianwen-1 joins Hope, the United Arab Emirates’ mission that reached orbit on Tuesday around the Red Planet. On 18th February, NASA’s Perseverance rover made a soft landing. Some of the spacecraft that had failed before during the orbital insertion stage of the mission include the Japanese, Soviet, and the US. For instance, in 1999, NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter was near Mars, but the mission was interrupted. The Soviet Mars 4 did not burn its engines, making it go past Mars.

Science objectives

Tianwen-1 is developed such that it will be able to gather diverse data on the Martian surface and from orbit. A planetary scientist at the China University of Geosciences, Long Xiao, said that Tianwen-1 has 13 scientific payloads to help study the following: topography and Martian morphology, surface materials’ composition, surface regolith, ionosphere characteristics, environment, climate, and magnetic field. It will also help to search for the water ice with radars.

Long said that the main intention of Tianwen-1 is searching and mapping the water ice distribution on the subsurface and surface. Tianwen-1 has two autonomous sounding radars. One onboard the orbiter for carrying out a global survey with the primary focus being on high latitude regions. The other is placed on the rover. The two will offer more reliable data than a single one since radar data interpretation and processing are complex processes.

An associate professor who works at Macau University of Science and Technology, Zhang Xiaoping, said that using the radar system will help measure the Martian surface’s subsurface structure like the buried water ice. He added that this is essential as it will aid in studying Mars’ underlying geologic structures.


China launches the Long March 8 rocket for the weekend test flight

For the first flight of a rocket, China has carried out a Long March 8 to a pad, which will eventually be modified for landing system and reuse. On December 16, at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, the Long March 8 was directly moved to the pad. Notices about airspace closing suggest an official launch between 11 p.m. On December 19 as well as 2 p.m. Eastern on December 20. In the year that saw the nation’s only autonomous interplanetary flight, a research project for deploying space stations, as well as a lunar sample mission, all launched from the new coastal Wenchang spaceport, the release could be the last operation for China. China also performed a classified test flight of what has been considered to be a reusable spaceplane with a fixed-wing.

Centered on China’s latest generation of both kerosene as well as cryogenic rockets, the new Long March 8 has been created. On the 3.35-meter-diameter heart, it consists of a pair of controlled ignition YF-100 kerosene-liquid oxygen engines and a single YF-100 on each of two sides’ boosters of 2.25-meter diameter. The second stage is based on the second stage of the Long March 3A rocket sequence of three-meter-diameter, hydrazine oxygen.

The Long March 8 is planned to fill a gap in Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) medium launch capabilities as well as geosynchronous transfer orbit operations (GTO). The Chinese media report that the rocket will lift to GTO 5 tons of loads as well as to SSO 2.8 tons.

Although the first takeoff is dispensable, the version of Long March 8R would in the development be modified for the first recyclability. A secret science research satellite built by the China Academy of Space Technology is scheduled to be deployed (CAST)   (CAST). There will also be 4 smaller payloads onboard. These include the Ethiopian ET-SMART-RSS 6U nanosat, established in collaboration with both the Beijing Zhixing Space Technology Co. commercial company Limited, known as Smart Satellite. There are anticipated to be other commercial satellites on the trip.

The objective will be the 38th epidemic 2020 launch from China. This included 2 Long March rocket faults as well as two Kuaizhou rocket engine mistakes established by a government conglomerate. The Long March 8, a subsidiary of state-owned defense contractor China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), was designed and built by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).