Martian programs of the USA, Russia and China for the next 2 years

Original author: Based on materials - www.reuters.com
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According to one of the leaders of the Sino-Russian project (Beijing News), China and Russia, following NASA, want to claim the right to explore the red planet. The Chinese will have to build the probe itself, but a Russian rocket (along with another Russian device) will launch it into space. The mission's task is to take photographs of Mars and its moon Phobos, the start of the project is scheduled for October 2009.

The probes together make their way to Mars, flying apart as they approach the planet’s orbit. The main problem, according to Chinese experts, is the operation of the probe, which is powered by solar panels, in the "shadow period" when Mars completely closes the Sun. There are 7 such periods in total and each lasts almost 9 hours, the temperature drops to -200 Celsius, which can simply freeze the probes.

China is the third country to send man into space (2003). Now China is about to send a manned spacecraft to the moon and launch its own space station by 2020.

At the same time, it became known that NASA postpones its Martian program for 2 years. Michael Griffin, NASA's manager, said the project was postponed for 2 years due to technical problems in the six-wheeled robot’s motor, which will have to work on the surface of the red planet.

Initially, the mission was also planned for October 2009, but now, in order to send the probe two years later, an additional $ 400 million will be required, thus, the total cost of the mission will be $ 2.3 billion.

NASA experts say that several additional months would be enough to fix the malfunction, but the window for launching the probe to Mars would then close. And the next such opportunity will be presented only after 26 months. Therefore, if before October 2009 NASA technicians do not have time to repair the robot, the project will begin in December 2011.


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