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China successfully tests a Mars lander module

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 18 nov. 2019 4:38 por Plataforma Sites Dgac   [ actualizado el 31 ago. 2020 10:26 ]
On Thursday, November 13, China performed its first public test of a lander module for Mars and has plans to launch a mission to the red planet in 2020.
The Chinese Mars lander module during a test in the province of Hebei.

(Source: AP)
The test took place in Huailai, a mountain site in the province of Hebei, at a driving distance of about an hour and a half away North of Beijing.

The lander module was suspended 70 meters above de ground by 36 steel cables. The test began with a strong roar and the module stayed on the air and then descended until it stopped a few meters above the ground.

A successful landing of the space vehicle is one of the main challenges for China’s Mars mission. If it achieves it, it will be the second country in the world to do it. The USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is also planning a Mars mission for 2020.

Milestone

According to officials, the goal was to test the module capabilities to hover and avoid obstacles, besides seeing how it operated in an environment similar to Mars, where gravity is one third compared to Earth’s.

“(This simulation) is a milestone for the development of the Mars probe”, said Wu Yanhua, the vice administrator of China’s Space National Administration.
 
The local authorities invited diplomats and international media to watch the test. China has sought a greater inclusion in international space projects, but the United States strongly restricts the way in which NASA can work with the Chinese space program.

(Source: CNN.com)
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