Mars Global Remote Sensing Orbiter and Small Rover
Mockup of the rover at the 69th International Astronautical Congress
|Mission type||Planetary science with an orbiter and rover|
|Mission duration||Orbiter: ≥ 1 Earth year|
Rover: 90 sols
|Spacecraft type||Orbiter, Rover|
|Launch mass||Total: 5,000 kg|
Orbiter: 3,175 kg
|Dimensions||Rover: 2.0 m × 1.65 m × 0.8 m|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||July 23 to August 5, 2020|
|Rocket||Long March 5|
|Launch site||Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site LC101|
|Contractor||China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation|
|Orbital insertion||2021 February 11 to February 24 |
|Landing date||2021 April 23(proposed)|
The Mars Global Remote Sensing Orbiter and Small Rover (HX-1) is a planned project by China to deploy an orbiter and rover on Mars. The mission is planned to be launched in July or August 2020 with a Long March 5 heavy lift rocket. Its stated objectives are to search for evidence of both current and past life, and to assess the planet's environment.
China's Mars program started in 2009 in a partnership with Russia. However, the Russian spacecraft Fobos-Grunt carrying a Chinese orbiter Yinghuo-1 crashed on 15 January 2012, days after lift-off. After that, China started its own Mars project.
The spacecraft is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), and managed by the National Space Science Centre (NSSC) in Beijing. This Mars mission would be a demonstration of technology needed for a Mars sample return mission proposed for the 2030s. The lander carrying the rover will use a parachute, retrorockets, and an airbag to achieve landing.
The priorities of the mission include finding both current and previous life, and evaluating the planet's surface and environment. Solo and joint explorations of the Mars orbiter and rover will produce maps of the Martian surface topography, soil characteristics, material composition, water ice, atmosphere, ionosphere field, and other scientific data will be collected.
Simulated landings have been performed for the mission preparations by the Beijing Institute of Space Mechanics and Electricity.
Between them the orbiter and rover will carry a total of 12 instruments:
- Medium Resolution Camera (MRC) with a resolution of 100 m from a 400 km orbit
- High Resolution Camera (HRC) with a resolution of 2 m from a 400 km orbit
- Mars Magnetometer (MM)
- Mars Mineral Spectrometer (MMS), to determine elementary composition
- Orbiter Subsurface Radar (OSR)
- Mars Ion and Neutral Particle Analyzer (MINPA)
- Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR), to image about 100 m (330 ft) below the Martian surface
- Mars Surface Magnetic Field Detector (MSMFD)
- Mars Meteorological Measurement Instrument (MMMI)
- Mars Surface Compound Detector (MSCD)
- Multi-Spectrum Camera (MSC)
- Navigation and Topography Camera (NTC)
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