China News Service, July 23rd, title: From "Yinghuo No.1" to "Tianwen No. 1"-the first anniversary of China's space flight to Mars

  Author Zheng Yingying, Ma Shuaisha, Guo Chaokai

  "China is the second country in the world that has successfully soft-landed on Mars.'Tianwen 1'accomplishes the three major goals of Mars orbit, landing and patrolling through a single mission, which is equivalent to two or three missions in other countries, and this is our own initiative. Innovation is achieved." Zhang Yuhua, deputy commander of the Tianwen-1 probe system and commander-in-chief of the Mars Orbiter of the Eighth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, said in an interview with reporters in Shanghai on the 23rd.

  It has been one year since the successful launch of the Tianwen 1 Mars probe in Wenchang, Hainan on July 23, 2020.

Data map: The Long March 5 Yaosi rocket ignited and lifted off at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in China.

Photo by Luo Yunfei

Before "Tianwen No. 1", China tried to "hitch a car" to Mars

  Before "Tianwen No. 1" launched its independent fire detection mission, China tried to "hitch a ride" to Mars in the form of international exchanges and cooperation.

On March 26, 2007, the National Space Administration of China and Russia signed the "Agreement on Joint Exploration of Mars and Phobos Cooperation."

On July 15, 2008, the Firefly-1 Mars Rover project was established.

  The research and development of the "Firefly-1" project was undertaken by the Eighth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

On November 8, 2011, the Firefly-1 probe developed by China and Russia's "Forbes-Soil" probe set off on a Russian carrier rocket to Mars.

During the mission, the "Forbes-Soil" probe failed to change its orbit as planned, and the mission ended in failure.

  Chu Yingzhi, deputy commander of the Tianwen-1 Mars Orbiter of the Eighth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, was the overall chief designer of Yinghuo-1.

When he was interviewed in Shanghai on the 23rd, he recalled that when the "Forbes-Soil" probe was launched, he was in the flight control room at the launch site. Huo No.1’s on-orbit situation."

  Fortunately, the test data accumulated on the ground was not in vain. Chu Yingzhi said that although the Firefly-1 was unsuccessful, the mission led to the development of China’s deep-space exploration and aerospace technology, to solve the measurement and control problem of the longest distance of 400 million kilometers, and to develop it for China. Subsequent deep space exploration missions laid the foundation.

  Chu Yingzhi said that exploring the moon can be likened to walking out of the house into our own yard, and exploring Mars is just visiting our neighbors. Deep space exploration is just like the early exploration of the ocean. We don’t know where the other shore is, and the risk of failure is In reality, nearly half of the Mars exploration activities in the world ended in failure. The "Firefly One" failed to achieve the predetermined goal due to the failure of the "Forbes-Soil" detection, so everyone was holding back. I have always had a dream in my heart, and I must complete the Mars exploration in my lifetime.

  "So far,'Tianwen No. 1'has performed well. We have been the people of'Firefly No. 1', and we can finally say proudly that we have succeeded." Chu Yingzhi said.

If you miss the window "Tianwen No. 1" in the case of an epidemic, you have to wait 26 months

  In January 2016, China's first autonomous Mars exploration was approved by the state.

The Tianwen-1 Mars Rover is composed of a Mars orbiter and a landing patrol. The overall design and development of the orbiter is undertaken by the Eighth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

  The sudden epidemic in 2020 disrupted the pace of development of the Mars orbiter.

Du Yang, deputy chief designer of the Tianwen 1 Mars Orbiter of the Eighth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, said that this time happens to be a critical period before the Mars orbiter leaves the factory. The Shanghai team needs to carry out the “one-to-one wireless flight” with the Beijing team at the same time. The two key tasks of “control joint test” and “factory review”.

  "The epidemic is raging, but the launch window of Tianwen No. 1 cannot be postponed. Once missed, it will be 26 months." Du Yang said.

  Due to traffic control, arrangements for personnel to travel to and from Beijing to participate in the two-device joint test are severely restricted.

In order to reduce the risk of personnel turnover, the Shanghai team decided to split the work in parallel: one team completed the "one-to-one wireless flight control joint test" with the Beijing Flight Control Center in Beijing, and the other team was responsible for completing the factory shipment in Shanghai Review preparations.

Finally overcome the difficulties and complete the task.

  According to the latest data released by the China National Space Administration, as of July 23, the "Zhu Rong" rover has been working on the surface of Mars for 68 Mars days and traveled a total of 585 meters; the orbiter is in orbit for the first anniversary, and is about 378 million thousand kilometers away from the earth. Meter, the one-way communication delay is about 21 minutes, the two devices are in good condition, and the working conditions of each system are normal.