Universe

China shows first images of new spacecraft

There they are: the first pictures from China’s new spacecraft. She should break up to Mars in 2020 and search for water. That’s not the only plan of the ambitious Chinese space program.

The Mars probe far without a name consists of three parts: the orbiter, landing part and the Rover equipped with six wheels and four solar panels. Pictures published by the Chinese space agency show that 2020, the probe to Mars will break up and land in the same year on its surface.

Chinese Mars-Rover
Photo: Chinese Space Agency

It is so far unknown how long the duration of the flight of the Chinese spacecraft will be the American colleague Curiosity was about nine months on the road. But the Mission goal is known: the Chinese Rover will take soil samples for three months and search for traces of water.

Compliance with the schedule seems to be no problem. “We have begun to create the subsystems of the probe”, said Liu Jizhong, Deputy Director of the Mars exploration program. “The mission will be completed without delay in the year 2020”. The Chinese engineers will benefit from the development of the Mondrovers Jutu (Jade Rabbit), who has analyzed rock samples on the moon.

China builds space laboratories and their own space station

The Mars mission is just part of China’s ambitious space plans. What is still on the agenda?

September 2016, for example, the launch of Tiagong 2 China’s second space laboratory. The laboratory weighing 13 tonnes, is 9 m long, has a maximum diameter of 3.35 m and can accommodate three astronauts to remain up to 20 days at a time on board. As the Launcher “long March 7” used, which starts from the space station on the island of Hainan.

Chinese Mars-Rover
The Chinese Moon robot YUTU (Jade Rabbit) has discovered new rock on the Moon, a type of basalt. Photo: Chinese Space Agency

And it goes on: 2018, China starts with the construction of a space station that 2022 is put into operation. The module is the more powerful rocket “long March 5” bring into Earth orbit.

China wants to end up on the dark side of the Moon

The third strike of the Chinese is as to land first land on the far side of the moon. The probe Chang E-4 will start also by 2020. This is technically challenging particularly telecommunications between Earth and moon back is problematic. Previously, there will be still the mission Chang E-5 in 2017 a probe on the Moon’s near side will land and then to Earth will bring 2 kg of rock samples.

Chinese Mars-Rover
With this land vehicle, the Marsrover should be discontinued in four years on Mars. Photo: Chinese Space Agency 

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