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(975 posts)
Tue May 14, 2024, 08:18 AM May 14

On This Day: Chinese rover on Mars! - part of new space race with no clear end goal - May 14, 2021

(edited from Wikipedia)
Zhurong (rover)

Zhurong is a Chinese rover on Mars, the country's first to land on another planet after it previously landed two rovers on the Moon. The rover is part of the Tianwen-1 mission to Mars conducted by the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The spacecraft was launched on 23 July 2020 and inserted into Martian orbit on 10 February 2021.

The lander, carrying the rover, performed a soft-landing on Mars on 14 May 2021, making China the third country to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on Mars and the second one to deploy a rover on Mars, after the United States.

Designed for a lifespan of 90 sols (93 Earth days), Zhurong was active for more than 347 sols (358 days) after its deployment on Mars's surface. The rover became inactive on 20 May 2022 due to approaching sandstorms and Martian winter, pending its self-awakening with appropriate temperature and sunlight conditions.

Zhurong was expected to wake up in December 2022 but never did due to excessive dust accumulation, according to the rover's chief designer.


On the surface the team found crusts, cracks, granulation, polygonal ridges, and a strip-like trace. Spectral data showed that the dune surface contains hydrated sulfates, hydrated silica (especially opal-CT), trivalent iron oxide minerals (especially ferrihydrite), and possibly chlorides. The team of researchers concluded that the observed features were due to liquid saline water. This water was derived from frost/snow that melted on the dunes.

Data from the Zhurong rover lead scientists to suggest that liquid water may have been present on at the landing site much later than was previously believed. Hydrated sulfate/silica materials were found in bright-toned rocks. The minerals formed a "duricrust." It was made either by groundwater rising or subsurface ice melting. Maybe, hot magma under the surface melted some of the abundant ice under the surface. The water could have moved to the surface and deposited minerals as it evaporated to make the duricrust.

(edited from article)
The new ‘space race’: what are China’s ambitions and why is the US so concerned?
Helen Davidson in Taipei
4 May 2024

The worsening rivalry between the world’s two most powerful countries that has in recent years spread across the world, has now extended beyond the terrestrial, into the realms of the celestial.

As China has become deeply enmeshed in strategic competition with the US – while edging towards outright hostilities with other regional neighbours – Washington’s alarm at the pace of its advancement in space is growing ever-louder.

The US is gathering allies to ensure China doesn’t win the space race. Earlier this month, not long after China announced its intentions to land a person on the moon, US leader Joe Biden and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida pledged to send a astronaut from Japan – China’s historical rival – to the moon on Nasa’s Artemis missions in 2028 and again in 2032.

Ben-Itzhak says the US and China are indeed engaged in a race, but the term doesn’t fully capture “the complex, nuanced dynamics currently unfolding in space, in terms of the diverse and increasing number of actors and initiatives, and no clear end goal in sight”.

(edited from Wikipedia)
China National Space Administration

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) is a government agency of the People's Republic of China headquartered in Haidian, Beijing, responsible for civil space administration and international space cooperation. These responsibilities include organizing or leading foreign exchanges and cooperation in the aerospace field. The CNSA is an administrative agency under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Founded in 1993, CNSA has pioneered a number of achievements in space for China despite its relatively short history, including becoming the first space agency to land on the far side of the Moon with Chang'e 4, bringing material back from the Moon with Chang'e 5 and 6, and being the second agency who successfully landed a rover on Mars with Tianwen-1.


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On This Day: Chinese rover on Mars! - part of new space race with no clear end goal - May 14, 2021 (Original Post) jgo May 14 OP
The Chinese end goal is very clear. Irish_Dem May 14 #1


(50,851 posts)
1. The Chinese end goal is very clear.
Tue May 14, 2024, 08:39 AM
May 14

Global power and wealth.

They wish to be the 21st century global superpower and will grab as much
territory, resources and wealth as they can.

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