China's 1st Mars rover 'Zhurong' lands on the Red Planet

Science 14 May, 2021 - 08:24pm 31 views

Has tianwen 1 landed on Mars?

China just successfully landed its first rover on Mars, becoming only the second nation to do so. Tianwen-1 (which translates to "Heavenly Questions") arrived in Mars' orbit in February after launching to the Red Planet on a Long March 5 rocket in July 2020. ... Space.comChina's 1st Mars rover 'Zhurong' lands on the Red Planet

Did China Land On Mars?

With the successful landing attempt, China is now the third nation to achieve a successful soft landing on Mars, after the Soviet Union and the United States. And if the deployment of the rover is also successful, China would become only the second nation to accomplish this feat, after the United States. wikipedia.orgTianwen-1

The Tianwen-1 mission, China's first interplanetary endeavor, reached the surface of the Red Planet Friday (May 14) at approximately 7:11 p.m. EDT (2311 GMT), though Chinese space officials have not yet confirmed the exact time and location of touchdown. Tianwen-1 (which translates to "Heavenly Questions") arrived in Mars' orbit in February after launching to the Red Planet on a Long March 5 rocket in July 2020. 

After circling the Red Planet for more than three months, the Tianwen-1 lander, with the rover attached, separated from the orbiter to begin its plunge toward the planet's surface. Once the lander and rover entered Mars' atmosphere, the spacecraft endured a similar procedure to the "seven minutes of terror" that NASA's Mars rovers have experienced when attempting soft landings on Mars. 

A heat shield protected the spacecraft during the fiery descent, after which the mission safely parachuted down to the Utopia Planitia region, a plain inside of an enormous impact basin in the planet's northern hemisphere. Much like during NASA's Perseverance rover landing, Tianwen-1's landing platform fired some small, downward-facing rocket engines to slow down during the last few seconds of its descent. 

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has not yet officially confirmed the successful landing, but it has been announced on social media by the state-run China Global Television Network (CGTN) and by researchers at Macau University of Science and Technology in China. 

Succesful landing of #Tianwen1, on #Mars! Landing point: 109.7 E, 25.1 N, less than 40 km from target location in Utopia Planitia. More details expected later! 15, 2021

China's Mars rover, called Zhurong after an ancient fire god in Chinese mythology, will part ways with the lander by driving down a foldable ramp. Once it has deployed, the rover is expected to spend at least 90 Mars days (or about 93 Earth days; a day on Mars lasts about 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth) roving around on Mars to study the planet's composition and look for signs of water ice. Utopia Planitia is believed to contain vast amounts of water ice beneath the surface. It's also where NASA's Viking 2 mission touched down in 1976.

The six-wheeled rover, which is about the size of NASA's twin Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, carries six scientific instruments on board, including two panoramic cameras, a ground-penetrating radar and a magnetic field detector. It also has a laser that it can use to zap rocks and study their composition, as well as a meteorological instrument to study the climate and weather on Mars.

Zhurong will work in tandem with the Tianwen-1 orbiter to study the Red Planet, and the orbiter will serve as a data relay station for communications between Zhurong and mission controllers on Earth. The orbiter is designed to last for at least one Mars year, or about 687 Earth days.

Tianwen-1 may be China's first Mars landing mission, but it isn't China's first Mars shot. The first, an orbiter called Yinghuo-1, launched in 2011 with Russia's failed Phobos-Grunt Mars sample-return mission, which never made it past Earth's orbit after launch, instead crashing into the Pacific Ocean and destroying the spacecraft.

China is now the second nation to successfully land a Mars rover (NASA has landed five rovers on Mars). The successful orbit insertion of the Tianwen-1 mission in February made China the sixth entity to do so, following NASA, the Soviet Union, the European Space Agency (ESA), India and the United Arab Emirates. 

Aside from China and NASA, the Soviet Union is the only other country to have landed a probe on Mars, but that mission (called Mars 3) ended prematurely when the spacecraft failed only a few minutes after it landed. The European Space Agency has attempted two Mars landings, but both spacecraft crashed. 

Tianwen-1 is China's first interplanetary mission; until now, Chinese spacecraft haven't ventured beyond Earth's moon, where the nation has successfully landed two rovers as part of its Chang'e program, which most recently brought moon rocks to Earth in December. China is also planning to launch an ambitious Mars sample-return mission in 2028, much like a joint NASA and ESA sample-return mission scheduled to launch that same year.

In the meantime, China is working on building its new space station, the first piece of which launched in April — and caused global panic last week when large rocket debris came tumbling to Earth in an uncontrolled fashion. China is also collaborating with Russia on an asteroid sample-return mission scheduled to launch in 2024.

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NASA releases 3D video of Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flight

Fox News 15 May, 2021 - 12:20am

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Goddard Space Center Chief Scientist Jim Garvin provides insight on ‘Fox New Live.’

NASA released a video this week giving viewers the chance to witness the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter's historic third flight in 3D.

In a release on Wednesday, the agency said that the video was meant to approximate standing on the Martian planet and witnessing the action "firsthand."

"When NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took to the Martian skies on its third flight on April 25, the agency’s Perseverance rover was there to capture the historic moment. Now NASA engineers have rendered the flight in 3D, lending dramatic depth to the flight as the helicopter ascends, hovers, then zooms laterally off-screen before returning for a pinpoint landing," the agency said.

The Perseverance Mars rover's zoomable dual-camera Mastcam-Z instrument produced the video and other images NASA says provide "key data" for navigation and aids in scientists' efforts to locate rocket targets – and potentially ancient microbial life.

NASA also announced Tuesday that the rover's robotic arm had begun conducting science operations, including a close examination of the planet's terrain and environment

JPL imaging scientist Justin Maki led the team that put together the video of the rotorcraft's flight, according to the release, which noted that frames of the video had been reprojected to optimize viewing in an anaglyph.

The video was a first for Maki, who had reportedly been creating 3D imaging of Mars since his days as a graduate student. 

"The Mastcam-Z video capability was inherited from the Mars Science Laboratory MARDI (Mars Descent Imager) camera," he said. "To be reusing this capability on a new mission by acquiring 3D video of a helicopter flying above the surface of Mars is just spectacular." 

Perseverance's drivers and arm operators reportedly use a "more sophisticated" 3D system, but Maki's team members have also been reviewing still 3D images to map out rover drives.

"A helicopter flying on Mars opens a new era for Mars exploration. It’s a great demonstration of a new technology for exploration," he said. "With each flight we open up more possibilities."

Ingenuity's April 25 flight was one of five successful experimental endeavors – with one failed attempt.

In April, NASA announced that the helicopter would enter a new operations demonstration phase, having already proven that powered, controlled flight is possible on the red planet.

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China makes history with successful Mars landing

Yahoo News 14 May, 2021 - 08:09pm

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

What’s happening: The rover arrived in orbit around the Red Planet in February with the country's Tianwen-1 mission.

The rover is reportedly designed to search for water, ice and possible signs of life.

This was China's first attempt to land on Mars.

The big picture: This mission fits into China’s broader plans in space.

The nation is currently building a space station and is aiming to develop a research station on the Moon with Russia.

China landed a spacecraft on Mars for the first time on Saturday, a technically challenging feat more difficult than a moon landing, in the latest advance for its ambitious goals in space. It will join an American rover that arrived at the red planet in February. China’s first Mars landing follows its launch last month of the main section of what will be a permanent space station and a mission that brought back rocks from the moon late last year.

China says its Mars probe and accompanying rover are expected to land on the red planet sometime between Saturday and Wednesday Beijing time. The China National Space Administration said in a brief notice that the Tianwen-1 probe has collected a large amount of scientific data since entering Mars orbit on Feb. 10 and the window for setting down on an icy area of the planet known as Utopia Planitia was determined by “current flying conditions.” The mission is the first attempt at a soft landing on Mars by a Chinese spacecraft.

The six-wheeled robot has made the hazardous descent to the surface of the Red Planet, China announces.

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If overburdened crematoriums weren't enough, India now has unidentified bodies washing up the banks of river Ganga, adding to the worry that the country is vastly undercounting its Covid-19 deaths.

The water crisis along the California-Oregon border went from dire to catastrophic this week as federal regulators shut off irrigation water to farmers from a critical reservoir and said they would not send extra water to dying salmon downstream or to a half-dozen wildlife refuges that harbor millions of migrating birds each year. In what is shaping up to be the worst water crisis in generations, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said it will not release water this season into the main canal that feeds the bulk of the massive Klamath Reclamation Project, marking a first for the 114-year-old irrigation system. “This year’s drought conditions are bringing unprecedented hardship to the communities of the Klamath Basin,” said Reclamation Deputy Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton, calling the decision one of “historic consequence.”

China's Tianwen-1 mission could be the first to deploy an orbiter, lander, and rover all at once. But only half of Mars landings have succeeded.

Armenia's prime minister said Friday he has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for military assistance amid simmering tensions with Azerbaijan in the wake of an armed conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The tug-of-war between the two South Caucasus neighbors exacerbated this week when Armenia protested what it described as Azerbaijani troops' incursion into its lands. Azerbaijan has insisted that its soldiers were deployed to what it considers its territory in areas where the border is yet to be demarcated.

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Denmark this week began digging up millions of culled mink buried six months ago because of concerns that the mass graves could contaminate drinking water and a nearby bathing lake. The Danish government ordered the country's entire mink herd - one of the world's biggest at some 17 million - to be culled in early November after hundreds of mink farms suffered outbreaks of coronavirus and authorities found mutated strains of the virus among people. Most of the mink were burned in waste incinerators, but limited capacity forced authorities to bury some four million mink, or 13 million tonnes, at military areas in western Denmark.

The hacker group DarkSide, which was responsible for a ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline and led to fuel shortages in multiple states this week, claims to be shutting down, Krebs on Security and several cybersecurity firms report.Why it matters: In a message from a cybercrime forum, the group said it had lost access to the infrastructure needed to carry out its extortion operations and that a cryptocurrency account it uses to pay its affiliates had been drained.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.What they're saying: “Servers were seized (country not named), money of advertisers and founders was transferred to an unknown account,” reads the message, which was reviewed by Krebs. “A few hours ago, we lost access to the public part of our infrastructure," the message continues. “Also, a few hours after the withdrawal, funds from the payment server (ours and clients’) were withdrawn to an unknown address."The group also claimed it released decryption tools to all companies it had attempted to extort, but had not yet been paid.Between the lines: Security experts say cyber criminal groups often disband and return under different names, and it therefore can't be determined if the disruption to DarkSide's infrastructure is legitimate or permanent, according to the Wall Street Journal.It is also unknown if the U.S. government had any role in the events that led to the group's closure.The big picture: Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers linked to DarkSide nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack to regain access to its computer systems.President Biden announced Thursday that the Justice Department launched a new task force that will specifically prosecute ransomware hackers "to the full extent of the law."Biden late Wednesday signed an executive order in an attempt to bolster the country's cybersecurity defenses following the cyberattack.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.

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China is holding its breath as its Zhurong rover is scheduled to be landed on Mars imminently, which will mark a significant victory for Beijing in its increasingly bold space programme. The Tianwen-1 mission, which translates as “questions to heaven”, launched in July 2020 and will be China’s first independent spacecraft to reach the red planet. The vessel entered the Martian orbit in February this year and is now preparing for its final touchdown as it approaches a vast northern lava plain known as Utopia Planitia, the Chinese Space Agency said Friday. At a press conference in March, Bao Weimin, the director of China’s Science and Technology Committee of the Aerospace Science and Technology Group, said that Tianwen-1 was orbiting at a speed of 4.8 kilometres per second and that its indicators and instruments were “working normally”.

China has joined the United States in safely sending an unmanned lander to Mars. The state news agency for China said a rover safely landed on a large plain on Mars early Saturday morning (approximately 7:18 PM ET/4:18 PT Friday). It now joins the United States as the only nations to have visited the red […]

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