Research, Technology

China wants to deliver Martian soil to Earth in 2031 - earlier than the United States

Over the years, space exploration inmainly engaged in Russia, Europe and the United States. But for several decades now, China has been very active in this matter, and it wants to beat its competitors in several races at once in a very short time. For example, at the moment, the NASA space agency wants to bring samples of Martian soil to Earth as soon as possible - in earth laboratories they can be carefully studied and, if you're lucky, find alien life forms. Delivery of the American capsules is expected in 2033, but China wants to overtake the US and get samples of the Red Planet's surface two years earlier. Chinese scientists want to achieve their goal by simplifying the collection of soil as much as possible - they already have a detailed plan.

China wants to collect Martian soil faster than the US. But how?

How will NASA send Mars samples to Earth?

The collection of Martian soil has already begun.This is done by the Perseverance rover on the territory of the Martian crater Lake Lake with a diameter of 49 meters. This place was not chosen by chance - it is believed that once upon a time this depression was filled with water. And where there is water, most likely, life also existed. But it is precisely the traces of living beings that scientists hope to find in the collected samples.

Location of the Lake crater on Mars

For storage of soil samples at the apparatusPerseverance has 43 vials. Previously, it was believed that they would be filled by 2026 and already in 2031 would be in the hands of American scientists. However, due to sample collection difficulties and other issues, the sample delivery date has been delayed to 2023.

Board with dummies of capsules that the Perseverance rover fills

The process of delivering capsules with alien content will be difficult and very expensive. During the recent revision of the mission plan, it was decided that the pick-up and drop-off process would include as many as four launches and rockets and three landings on Mars. The first flight has already been completed - within its framework, the Perseverance rover and its satellite, the Ingenuity helicopter, were delivered to the planet.

Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter

Two more will be delivered to Mars in 2028apparatus. The first Sample Fetch Rover (SFR) will be a small rover to pick up capsules filled with the Perseverance rover. The second vehicle will be equipped with a robotic arm to move cargo to the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) rocket, which will be located on board. With the help of this aircraft, the samples will fly up and be picked up by the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO), which arrived in advance, after which they will go towards the Earth. If all goes according to plan, NASA will receive samples in 2033.

Sending Martian soil samples into orbit as imagined by an artist

China wants to overtake the United States in the delivery of people to Mars. Here's how she does it.

China will get Mars samples before the US

Chinese scientists have simplified their program as much as possible, due to which they intend to obtain samples of Martian soil in 2031 - two years earlier than the United States.

China is serious about becoming a great space power

In November 2028, Chinese scientists are planninglaunch an orbiter that will circle Mars for a couple of years and carry out aerodynamic braking. In December 2028, a rover and a small rocket will head towards the Red Planet. After the descent, the rover will independently study the landing site and collect soil samples for some time. When everything is ready, the capsules will be inside the rocket and it will deliver them to the orbiter, which will take the cargo to Earth. As you can see, the plan of Chinese scientists consists of fewer steps and will obviously cost less. It is expected that the cargo will be loaded into the vehicle in orbit in March 2030, and a year later it will reach the Earth.

Right now, the US and China are hunting for Martian soil

However, one should not exclude the possibility thatthat the dates will be extended. Serious problems may arise during the course of the Chinese mission. The reason for one of them may be a dust storm - the landing will take place during the autumn equinox, when the weather on Mars is very turbulent.

You will be interested: How will the first human flight to Mars go?

How is China exploring Mars?

All this will happen only in a few years, andduring this time, the plans of Chinese researchers may change. At the moment, they are most busy with the Tianwen-1 mission, during which the station of the same name is operating in Mars orbit, and the Zhurong rover is on the surface (it is temporarily disabled).

Chinese rover "Zhuzhong" on the landing platform

In a couple of years, Chinese scientists will launch a mission"Tianwen-2", during which the device of the same name will begin to study the mysterious asteroids. First of all, he will pay attention to the asteroid (469219) Kamoaleva, which is a tiny cosmic body with a diameter of up to 100 meters and revolves around the Sun synchronously with the Earth. The device will not just study the shape of asteroids, but will take samples of their surface - at least it will definitely take particles of Kamoalev Tianwen-2.

The trajectory of the asteroid Kamoaleva

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A mission to collect and send to EarthMartian soil will be called "Tianwen-3". Do you think China will be able to overtake the US? Share your opinion in the comments or our cozy place for communication.