NASA has been doing well with Mars’ missions recently, but don’t let that fool you – half of all missions on Mars could fail. The Soviet Union previously took the spacecraft to Mars in 1971, but the connection was lost after 110 seconds. As recently as 2017, Schiaparelli lander of the European Space Agency crashed en route to the Martian coast. China’s first attempt at Mars was actually part of Russia’s 2011 Fobos-Grunt exploration project on Mars and its moon Phobos. The spacecraft failed to take off on Earth and just returned to space a few months later, prompting China to launch an independent mission on Mars.
Do not expect Zhurong to be like, say, Endurance. The latter weighs one ton, has nuclear weapons, has 23 cameras, carries a carbon-dioxide-to-oxygen technology, can take and install specimens that will be restored to Earth one day, and He even brought a new helicopter into the world. The first 240 kilograms, powered by the sun, only have six arms, and are expected to last 90 days in the Martian (although they can live longer).
Tianwen-1’s mission is to use 13 of his equipment (seven on an orbiter, six on a rover) to study the geology and soil mineralogy of Mars, a map of the distribution of ice sheets, a study of the earth’s magnetic field and gravity, and demonstrations climate and environment. As tourists view and measure the material from around the world and photograph up to 2 meters, Zhurong will intervene in the above attractions. It will use astronomical instruments to determine the shape of the soil, measure magnetic field, and observe climate change such as temperature and wind.
Perhaps the most interesting thing is that Zhurong has a ground radar that can make it visible and operate at a depth of 100 meters – ten times higher than the Perseverance radar. The hope is that this tool will be able to detect ice floors. Marine weapons could be an important part of establishing the Mars region one day. In particular, Utopia Planitia “is a healthy place to live and a place to get water,” says Wang.