Author Topic: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?  (Read 19858 times)

Offline Dalhousie

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Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« on: 06/25/2014 09:01 AM »
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1539568/next-stop-mars-china-aims-send-rover-red-planet-within-six-years

"China has ambitious plans to touch down on Mars by 2020, likely with a rover, and to collect its own samples from the red planet 10 years after that, a top aerospace scientist has revealed."
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline beidou

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #1 on: 06/25/2014 04:54 PM »
I don't think that will be likely, to be honest...

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #2 on: 06/26/2014 11:08 AM »
I don't think that will be likely, to be honest...

Why not?  That's six years away, by that time all being well we will have seen the second lunar sample return mission as well as another lunar rover, and the LM-5 in service.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Star One

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Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #3 on: 06/26/2014 11:23 AM »
I don't think that will be likely, to be honest...

Why not?  That's six years away, by that time all being well we will have seen the second lunar sample return mission as well as another lunar rover, and the LM-5 in service.

How much of the Lunar hardware being used/developed also be used for this?
« Last Edit: 06/26/2014 11:24 AM by Star One »

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #4 on: 06/26/2014 09:48 PM »
I don't think that will be likely, to be honest...

Why not?  That's six years away, by that time all being well we will have seen the second lunar sample return mission as well as another lunar rover, and the LM-5 in service.

How much of the Lunar hardware being used/developed also be used for this?

Interesting question.  Some items, for example the spacecraft in Mars orbit, the entry capsule for the sample return, could be derived from lunar hardware, with adjustments to thermal control and power systems for example.  individual  components and some systems - instruments for example - could be reused I imagine.  But of course others would have to be new - parachutes, heat shield, and structures for the lander would have to be built for stronger gravity.

Although a rover is mentioned, I would think they would try an orbiter first, and build from there.  There have been presentations at conferences I have attended talking about the 2016 and 2018 windows, although it is now probably too late for the 2016 window.
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Online hop

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #5 on: 06/27/2014 06:15 AM »
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1539568/next-stop-mars-china-aims-send-rover-red-planet-within-six-years

"China has ambitious plans to touch down on Mars by 2020, likely with a rover, and to collect its own samples from the red planet 10 years after that, a top aerospace scientist has revealed."
What "top aerospace scientists" want to do, and what the government wants to pay for are quite different, but frequently conflated in press reports.

2020 for a modest lander or rover doesn't seem out of the question, but like you I'd expect them to at least fly an orbiter and perhaps an EDL demonstrator first. Sample return would be a much bigger investment than China has put into planetary science so far.

Jeff Foust commented on this https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/482124770725875712
Quote
In 2000, Ouyang said "in 2020 they will establish a moon village or even a town." How's that coming along? http://bit.ly/1mvUhhA

Offline plutogno

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #6 on: 06/27/2014 07:21 AM »
I don't know how many of you were following the Chinese space program in the early 2000s, but when they approved the Chang'e program, they publicly announced that they did.
only when I will see such an announcement (from official sources, not from one or two scientists) I will believe that they are going to Mars.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #7 on: 06/27/2014 07:56 AM »
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1539568/next-stop-mars-china-aims-send-rover-red-planet-within-six-years

"China has ambitious plans to touch down on Mars by 2020, likely with a rover, and to collect its own samples from the red planet 10 years after that, a top aerospace scientist has revealed."
What "top aerospace scientists" want to do, and what the government wants to pay for are quite different, but frequently conflated in press reports.

2020 for a modest lander or rover doesn't seem out of the question, but like you I'd expect them to at least fly an orbiter and perhaps an EDL demonstrator first. Sample return would be a much bigger investment than China has put into planetary science so far.

Well yes, but this seems to be achievable.  Sample return would be 2030 or so, at least 16 years off.  In 10 years there will five launch windows, plenty of time for a phased development from an orbiter to sample return, a similar time scale for the Chang'e program.  And the Chinese have shown an interest in sample return, witness the planned Chang'e 5 and 6 missions, and the test flight for the sample return capsule later this years.

Given the fact that there have been several papers at international conferences on Chinese Mars missions in recent years, and the success and commitment to the Chang'e program, this seems very doable, Foust's baseless cynicism not withstanding (if the Chinese had devoted Apollo scale resources to going to the Moon by 2020, I am sure they would have, clearly they have not, perhaps wisely, preferring a more diverse and paced program).

« Last Edit: 06/27/2014 07:58 AM by Dalhousie »
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #8 on: 06/27/2014 08:11 AM »
I don't know how many of you were following the Chinese space program in the early 2000s, but when they approved the Chang'e program, they publicly announced that they did.
only when I will see such an announcement (from official sources, not from one or two scientists) I will believe that they are going to Mars.

I suspect it is only a matter of time. Ouyang Ziyuan is chief scientist of the Lunar Exploration Program there quite highly placed, and is at the core of Chinese planetary space policy formulation.

https://www.gwu.edu/~spi/assets/docs/Besha_article_2010.pdf

The first internal studies for the Moon began in 1992, in 2004 the Chang'e program was officially approved.  The first mission was in 2007.  So 12 years from first internal discussion to official public approval, and three years from then to the first mission. 

Working back from a 2020 date for Mars then we would need approval by about 2017 at the latest (maybe following a successful lunar sample return?), with studies having begun in 2008.  There was mention of Mars missions at a Chinese presentation at the LPSC in 2009, so internal discussion would have begun before then.

So the timelines are feasible, IMHO.
 
EDIT I completely forgot when writing the above that of course China has already had a Mars mission, the small Yinghou-1 orbiter, that was carried by the unsuccessful Fobos-Grunt mission.

The agreement approving this missions was signed between China and Russia March 2007.  This suggests that some thought had been given to Mars missions in China prior to that date. It was launched four years later in November 2011. 

The timeline is therefore reasonably consistent with what I outlined.  First serious consideration towards Mars missions beginning a bit earlier than above, say 2005, with an early start with Yinghou-1 happening because of the opportunity of being a secondary spacecraft carried on Fobos-Grunt.   

What is surprising is that there have not been approvals already, but presumably China wants to focus on lunar missions at this stage, moving on to Mars missions once the Chang'e program is complete. 


« Last Edit: 06/27/2014 12:54 PM by Dalhousie »
"There is nobody who is a bigger fan of sending robots to Mars than me... But I believe firmly that the best, the most comprehensive, the most successful exploration will be done by humans" Steve Squyres

Offline plutogno

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #9 on: 11/09/2014 09:22 AM »
JPL rover driver Scott Maxwell has a nice analysis of the Chinese Mars rover design recently unveiled in Shanghai
https://plus.google.com/+ScottMaxwell/posts/jQDggja1WJb
see http://english.cri.cn/12394/2014/11/07/53s851410.htm for pics of "the beast"

Offline method

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #10 on: 11/11/2014 08:49 AM »
Did you see the new configuration of a new martian lander at Zhuhai Airshow ?

If not, you have to go to Defense.Pk and "China Defense Forum". Then, you have an amazing post  about the Airshow with this new martian lander at p 42.

http://defence.pk/threads/zhuhai-air-show-2014-updates-discussions.341334/page-41

Offline Satori

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #11 on: 11/11/2014 11:06 AM »

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #12 on: 11/12/2014 03:55 AM »
Thanks Satori. That article mentions that a sample return would be performed around 2030, which is in line with previous information.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline plutogno

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #13 on: 11/16/2014 10:04 AM »
found on a French forum, a reportage on the Mars lander + rover on show at the Zhuhai airshow


note the CG rendering starting at 1:47. I wonder why would the Chinese go for such a complex lander to land a MER-sized rover, while they could use airbags. Is the lander itself instrumented somehow? would they use it as a EDL demonstrator for a bigger lander?

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #14 on: 11/16/2014 11:47 AM »
found on a French forum, a reportage on the Mars lander + rover on show at the Zhuhai airshow

note the CG rendering starting at 1:47. I wonder why would the Chinese go for such a complex lander to land a MER-sized rover, while they could use airbags. Is the lander itself instrumented somehow? would they use it as a EDL demonstrator for a bigger lander?

What about it looks complicated? Very similar landing method to Viking back in the 70s.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2014 11:48 AM by ncb1397 »

Offline plutogno

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #15 on: 11/16/2014 01:50 PM »
I mean, why use a Viking to lend a MER-sized rover?

Offline Phillip Clark

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #16 on: 11/16/2014 02:47 PM »
Looking at the video it would appear that the lander separates from the orbiter/fly-by probe during the approach to Mars like the Soviet-era Mars 2/3/6/7, while the Viking landers did their descents from Mars orbit.   Of course, the US rovers also completed direct descents to Mars.   This could cause problems if there is only a limited ability to change the landing site in the case of a dust storm being in progress.
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Offline method

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #17 on: 11/16/2014 09:38 PM »
The informations concerning the origins of Mars program are wrong.

The first official speech concerning a Mars probe came from Ma Xingrui in 1998 (Space 98, Beijing). At this time, I was in this exhibition when he presented Mars as a goal for space exploration after the Moon.

Two years later, in Rio de Janeiro, I met some peoples who spoke about a competition between Moon, Mars, and "Stardust" probes. Moon won the competition...

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #18 on: 11/17/2014 03:36 AM »
Thanks very much for posting that video. The landing animation shows a different configuration for the lander platform, with six deployable petals instead of four sets of wheel ramps. The poster in the background says

"Around 2020, Mars orbiting, landing and rover exploration will be carried out in one mission."

I think it makes sense to use a traditional lander, as the Chinese already have experience in this area from their Chang'e landers which includes obstacle avoidance. That technology can also be used for larger payloads. Airbags are limited for small payloads. A Skycrane could have been used, but that gets away from Chinese experience.
« Last Edit: 11/17/2014 03:39 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Lsquirrel

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Re: Chinese 2020 Mars rover?
« Reply #19 on: 11/17/2014 11:26 AM »
Looking at the video it would appear that the lander separates from the orbiter/fly-by probe during the approach to Mars like the Soviet-era Mars 2/3/6/7, while the Viking landers did their descents from Mars orbit.   Of course, the US rovers also completed direct descents to Mars.   This could cause problems if there is only a limited ability to change the landing site in the case of a dust storm being in progress.
Lander separates from the orbiter/fly-by probe during the approach to Mars...
It's only a mistake, while the rover using  wheels like the luna rover Yutu, it's also a mistake

according to some news about the mission, lander descents from Mars orbit