by Staff Writers
Shanghai, China (XNA) Jun 01, 2009
China's first Mars probe, Yinghuo-1, is expected to be launched in the second half of this year, an official of the Shanghai Academy of Space flight Technology (SAST) has said.
The probe had passed test of the research phase, Zhang Weiqiang, deputy secretary of SAST Committee of the Communist Party of China, told the third Shanghai International Aerospace Technology and Equipment Exhibition.
The event runs from Thursday to Saturday and includes a full-scale model of Yinghuo-1.
Yinghuo-1 will be launched by a Russian carrier rocket, accompanied by the Russian aerocraft Phobos-Grunt. The Russian aerocraft is making a sample return mission to Phobos, one of the moons of Mars, Zhang said.
Yinghuo-1 would go into Mars orbit in 2010 after a 10-month, 380-million-kilometer journey, Zhang said. But unlike the Russian craft, Yinghuo-1 won't land but would only orbit and observe, Zhang said.
The Chinese probe is 75 centimeters long, 75 cm wide and 60 cm high. It weighs 115 kilograms and was designed for a two-year life, according to Zhang. "Yinghuo" means light from firefly in Chinese.
Yinghuo-1 is expected to discover why water disappeared from Mars and explain other environmental changes of the planet, Zhang said.
The project is China's third major space exploration plan after the manned space project and the moon exploration program. It was also the first time that China would explore another planet, Zhang said.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
Shanghai Academy of Space flight Technology (SAST)
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|