China’s Tianxen-1 Mars probe touched down in a pre-selected landing zone in the southern part of the Utopia Plain on Mars on Friday, leaving the first trace of Chinese people on the planet.China has become the second country in the world to launch a scientific exploration mission to the surface of Mars, CNN said Tuesday.But some western media say that “China is just repeating what the US did years ago”.What are the differences between Chinese and American technologies in the field of Mars exploration?Global Times reporters interviewed a number of space experts on Monday.
During the landing on Sunday, Tien Wen 1 completed a very difficult “9 minutes of shock” on its own. It first decelerated with the help of the Martian atmosphere to overcome the challenges of high temperature caused by ultra-high speed friction and attitude deviation caused by aerodynamics, reducing its descent speed of about 20,000 km per hour by about 90%.
During the landing on Sunday, Tien Wen 1 completed a very difficult “9 minutes of shock” on its own. It first decelerated with the help of the Martian atmosphere to overcome the challenges of high temperature caused by ultra-high speed friction and attitude deviation caused by aerodynamics, reducing its descent speed of about 20,000 km per hour by about 90%.Then, Tianwen 1 opened a parachute and decelerated under the parachute system. When the speed dropped to 100 meters per second, it then decelerated through the reverse thrust engine and entered the power deceleration stage.When it was 100 meters above the surface of Mars, Tianwen 1 entered the hover stage. After accurately avoiding obstacles and slowly descending, the lander landed on the surface of Mars with the protection of cushions and air bags.
Wang Yanan, chief editor of Aviation Knows, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the US has had many successful Mars exploration missions, and has landed in a variety of ways, including an airbag bounce, a reverse engine slowdown and the most bizarre “sky crane”.
He said China’s Tianwen 1’s use of the reverse engine to slow down does not mean it is lagging behind, but a landing method based on the actual needs of the rover.For example, the United States’ “Sky Crane” lander, the “perseverance” weighs more than a ton, in a traditional approach to the landing, the lander would need a very strong support structure, which would make the probe very heavy.Tien Wen 1’s Zhurong rover weighs just 240 kilograms, and while its landing method looks traditional, it is a proven technology.”We’ve tried it on more than one lunar mission, so using this technology on Mars is definitely the most reliable way to get there.China’s first landing on Mars and ensuring the complete success of the mission is the goal.”
Huang Zhicheng, an aerodynamicist and space technology expert, also said in an interview with the Global Times on Tuesday that the specific landing method will depend on the weight and mission of the rover.The SkyCrane, for example, won’t be able to handle future manned Mars landers, which could weigh more than 13 tons, so the U.S. will need to develop new technologies.