After landing the Jade Rabbit rover on the Moon, China has unveiled a design for a Mars rover mission.
Perhaps egged on by the success of the Indian Space Agency’s Mars mission, Chinese aspirations have increased.
The stated goal of the rover will be to search for life and water. However, due to a limited budget, the Chinese Mars rover is competing with the other space programs for funding, like recent calls for a new heavy lift launch system for human spaceflight. This places the ambitious 2020 launch date in question.
– Ex astris, scientia –
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At 10:31PDT today, the Mars Curiosity rover will hopefully land safely and begin its mission. Good luck to everyone at NASA and JPL. The last commands from mission control were sent today. “We sent a command to the spacecraft to start its onboard program to execute the final approach, entry, descent and landing,” Vasavada told the Los Angeles Times in an interview late Friday. “We literally could do nothing more, and the spacecraft will land itself.”
You can find out more about the mission here. For some spectacular space viewing check out NASA’s eyes web site where you can view everything NASA and the world are doing in space, or visit our closest star. It is a really phenomenal site.
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