Military Review

Researchers with and without experience. 2020 Mars missions


AMS "Al-Amal" at the stage of assembly. Photo by UAE Space Agency /

There is a launch window for flights to Mars right now. The July-August launch allows the spacecraft to reach its target by the end of next winter and save a few months. Three countries intend to use this opportunity at once - the USA, China and the UAE. Countries with extensive experience and beginners in this area send different types of equipment to the Red Planet and pursue different goals. Consider three current Mars programs.

"Hope" for the Emirates

The first launch window was used by the United Arab Emirates. On July 20, in the morning local time, an H-IIA carrier rocket with the Al-Amal (Nadezhda) automatic interplanetary station was launched at the LP-1 site of the Japanese Tanegashima cosmodrome. By mid-February next year, this AMS will enter Mars orbit and begin its work.

Launch of the H-IIA rocket with the Al-Amal product. Photo Mitsubishi Heavy Industries /

AMS "Al-Amal" was developed in the framework of cooperation between the UAE Space Agency, the Mohammed ibn Rashid Space Center (UAE) and the University of Colorado (USA) with the participation of a number of other organizations. The product is an orbiting spacecraft designed to explore the Martian atmosphere. The station's weight is 1350 kg, the energy is based on a pair of solar panels.

The Nadezhda carries an EXI multi-range camera, as well as infrared and ultraviolet spectrometers EMIRS and EMUS. With the help of this equipment, AMS will be able to collect data on the state of the surface and atmosphere, as well as determine the concentration of various substances and perform other studies.

The Al-Amal project is not only intended to explore the Red Planet, there are other goals as well. AMC also solves image problems. The UAE wants to show its ability to work in space, incl. carry out fairly complex research projects. In addition, the station is planned to be put into operation by the XNUMXth anniversary of the country, and the creation of interest in space among young people is of no small importance.

Al-Amal orbiting Mars. UAE spacecraft graphics /

The creation of Nadezhda has mobilized the scientific and technical organizations of the UAE and should become an impetus for further development. The Emirates are going to continue work in the space sector, develop it and attract investments in this promising sector. Thus, in addition to purely scientific results, the Al-Amal mission could have positive consequences for the industry and economy of the country.

Chinese "Questions"

China has more experience in the space sector and therefore implements more complex projects, incl. Martian. On July 23, the Changzheng-5 launch vehicle was launched from the Wenchang cosmodrome. Payload - AMS "Tianwen-1" (the product is named after Qu Yuan's poem "Questions to Heaven"). The Chinese station will enter Mars orbit in mid-February 2021.

The first stage of the Tianwen-1 mission provides for work in orbit. An AMC with a set of cameras, radar, spectrometer and particle analyzers will explore the surface and atmosphere of the planet in search of signs of living organisms or conditions for their existence. Also, with the help of the station, they will clarify the maps of the planet and supplement other knowledge about it.

Launch of the Tianwen 1 mission. Photo

In April 2021, the Tianwen 1 orbiter will drop a landing module with a rover onto the surface of Mars. The latter is equipped with a GPR, magnetometer, cameras, etc. The self-propelled solar-powered vehicle will continue to work on the planet's surface and collect new data “on the spot”. The duration of orbital research is 1 Earth year, work on the surface is 90 days.

The success of the Tianwen 1 mission will complement the known knowledge about the Red Planet, as well as show China's ability to implement complex projects in the space industry. The PRC's cosmonautics is showing serious success, and the Martian program should continue this trend.

American "Perseverance"

The launch of the American launch vehicle with the Mars 30 mission is scheduled for July 2020. A landing module with the Perseverance rover will be sent to Mars. The landing is scheduled for mid-February, and the term of work on the surface is set at 638 Earth days.

The orbital part of the Chinese AMC. Graphics

The new rover is a six-wheeled platform with an RTG-based power system, equipped with a variety of research and experimental instruments. The total weight is 1050 kg. A set of cameras of various kinds, several spectrometers, a georadar and a weather station are provided. The experimental device MOXIE is of great interest. Its task will be to generate pure oxygen from carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere.

The research capabilities of the rover will be expanded by the unmanned Mars Helicotper Scout (MHS) or Ingenuity (Ingenuity) helicopter. A drone weighing less than 2 kg will be able to stay in the air for up to 3 minutes and move away from the platform for hundreds of meters, after which it needs to return and recharge. MHS optics will allow you to study the environment around the rover, search for the most profitable routes and collect other data.

The Tianven-1 descent vehicle with a rover. Graphics

Persevarance will carry out research independently and convey information. At the same time, the project provides for a reserve for the delivery of samples of the substance to Earth. In the middle of the decade, it is planned to launch the Mars Sample-Return (MSR) mission, the main element of which will be a landing platform-launcher. She will be able to take containers with samples from "Perseverance" and send them into orbit on Mars for onward transfer to Earth.

The Mars 2020 program with the Perseverance rover is far from the first in stories NASA. The extensive experience of the United States allows us to assess its prospects with optimism and expect successful completion of research - and in the future, real samples of soil and rock.

Similar and different

It's not hard to see that the three countries exploring Mars take different approaches. The appearance of the three current missions clearly shows the goals and scientific and technical capabilities of different states. In addition, it is not only about conducting research on the Red Planet. Such programs are also designed to improve the image of their creators.

American Mars rover Perseverance and its equipment. NASA graphics

The UAE does not yet have the necessary scientific potential, and they had to turn to other countries for help - both to develop and launch their "Nadezhda". However, the Emirates hopes that the success of this mission will attract investment and specialists. It is quite possible that next time it will be possible to create something more complicated than an orbiter with three instruments on board.

The American mission Mars 2020 provides for the use of only a rover, but this product is highly sophisticated and even equipped with its own reconnaissance drone. With Perseverance and Ingenuity, the United States will be able to collect new data on Mars, as well as confirm its leadership in planetary exploration.

Martian UAV Ingenuity. NASA graphics

The Chinese project is of the greatest interest. The Launched Questions to the Sky include exploration both in orbit and on the surface, making it the most challenging mission to launch this summer. China is actively developing its space industry, creating a satellite constellation and launching new research programs. The current state of the art in China makes it possible to tackle AMC's most challenging projects - and is a source of pride.

Experienced and new

Three missions to Mars are scheduled to start this summer. Two out of three launches have already been completed, and the third is expected in just a week. Two spacecraft are already entering the calculated trajectories that will allow them to reach their target in the shortest time. However, the path will be long and slow. Three spacecraft from the UAE, China and the United States will arrive at Mars in February next year, at minimum intervals.

Real scientific results of missions will appear only in the distant future. Spacecraft will make it to Mars next year, and it will take months or years to collect and process the data. However, results of a different kind can already be observed. Space in general and interplanetary research in particular attract the attention of more and more countries - and some even find the opportunity to organize complex programs. How successful these attempts were will become clear in the near future.
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  1. snake
    snake 27 July 2020 18: 27
    "Hope" for the Emirates

    Chinese "Questions"

    American "Perseverance"

    And the Russian "Let them fly first, and then we'll talk" ...
    1. Grazdanin
      Grazdanin 27 July 2020 18: 44
      Putin is a man of his word. He did not raise the retirement age, did not introduce a progressive scale of taxation, and did not change the constitution. He fulfilled all promises.
    2. Catfish
      Catfish 27 July 2020 18: 47
      Well, how did you fly?
      1. snake
        snake 27 July 2020 18: 50
        And then you do not know.
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 27 July 2020 19: 39
          Congratulations, Sergey drinks , You, like me, the urya-patriots do not love. laughing
          1. Civil
            Civil 27 July 2020 20: 57
            Quote: Sea Cat
            Congratulations, Sergey drinks , You, like me, the urya-patriots do not love. laughing

            Roskosmos does not spare money for minusors) even for criticizing the GDP, on this site, there are fewer minuses than for criticizing Rogozin) probably reads .... journalist is an effective manager)
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 27 July 2020 22: 08
              Strange guys, it would be better if they invested in the Martian project. laughing
          2. snake
            snake 27 July 2020 21: 53
            And the clown with them. But the surrender of positions in space is a disaster ... It's a shame for the country ...
      2. Proxima
        Proxima 27 July 2020 23: 24
        The Chinese have a grandiose mission, and an orbital module and a lander with a rover. Considering that all the previous Martian missions near the Celestial Empire turned out to be a failure, then they swung well! fellow
  2. A.TOR
    A.TOR 27 July 2020 18: 44
    The Chinese project is of the greatest interest.

    Very good
  3. Falcon5555
    Falcon5555 27 July 2020 18: 44
    The American mission Mars 2020 provides for the use of only a rover, but this product is highly sophisticated and even equipped with its own reconnaissance drone.
    The time of arrival and return of the radio signal is from 6 minutes (in opposition) to 44 minutes, and the atmospheric density is 0.02 from the Earth's - and they want to launch a drone? .. Powerful !!! It will be jealous once again if they succeed.
    1. donavi49
      donavi49 27 July 2020 19: 52
      So it will work as rovers and as current UAVs without direct control. In the control and management center, they make a route - they send it to the rover. He processes, transmits instructions to the UAV controller, he executes. After landing, it sends data to the rover, which processes and sends it to the ground. In the control center - they look at the photos, select the standing objects, work out the route in more detail and again send instructions to the rover. Well, etc.

      The main task of this UAV:
      1) Demonstrator of technologies, if it works out and lives a long time, then the next one will already fly more.
      2) Onboard scout, to explore interesting places along the route. Previously, there was a very sharp lack of eyes for a passing selection of interesting branches from the main route. Identification of hazardous areas with sand or stones. An additional tool for choosing the most optimal route to approach or descend a hill / crater. Well, etc.
      3) Detailed photo reconnaissance of those places where the rover will not enter, but only drive up (for example, a crater, a hole, a rocky zone, etc.).
      1. The leader of the Redskins
        The leader of the Redskins 27 July 2020 20: 14
        And I will gladly wait for the next winter and will follow the messages from the red planet with great interest!))) Most likely I will not wait for the apple orchards on it, but the conclusions of scientists will probably surprise more than once!
        1. Falcon5555
          Falcon5555 28 July 2020 01: 39
          Is there life on Mars, is there life on Mars - science still does not know. smile
      2. Falcon5555
        Falcon5555 27 July 2020 21: 35
        To fly a drone without direct control and without any prompts, and on a strange, I apologize, planet, independently overcome all unexpected situations, for example gusts of wind, find your way back, sit down, connect to charging - it's strong. The brains must be strong there. Entering the world of robots ...
        1. donavi49
          donavi49 27 July 2020 22: 39
          Well, they are flying right now. You can order a copter from aliexpress that will fly along the route without control and record data. Nowadays, lidar research of areas flooded around the world precisely because of this. Because an airplane is expensive, and a copter with a lidar for rent, even a small expedition can afford. The biggest discovery of recent times is due to the significant availability of this technology and shooting.

          1. Falcon5555
            Falcon5555 28 July 2020 01: 37
            Let's say I didn't know. But they are probably guided by GPS. And such a drone will sit where it is programmed. If there is a tree, it will remain on the branches. Then I will have to climb after him, repair, charge. Something like that, right? And this one will have to somehow find its own rover (although the control computer is probably on the rover), probably sit on it, attach itself, then something should insert a plug into the outlet.
            And what kind of discovery, what kind of pictures?
            1. donavi49
              donavi49 28 July 2020 08: 17
              Yes, it will sit where it is programmed. Therefore, it is better to choose lawns. There are models with a control camera, which, when an uncharacteristic obstacle is detected, stop, take a step in meters and try again.

              On the Mars rover, there is most likely a driving beacon, and the copter will fly to it.

              New cities in Guatemala, lost in the jungle and found only with the help of Lidar.

              "In 45 minutes of flight, the lidar was able to do what we would have done manually for 10 years. Based on the data obtained, we can begin excavations much earlier than the appointed time."

              “It will take us a hundred years to process all the data we receive and truly understand what we have found,” said one of the researchers, Francisco Estrada-Bally.

              In the images obtained, archaeologists have discovered palaces, squares and buildings - a total of 60 structures that have been hidden for centuries under the forest canopy.

              Well, all over Europe, they began to find, in the most unexpected places, all kinds of parking lots, settlements, fortresses, etc.

        2. kutuz
          kutuz 27 July 2020 23: 22
          "Entering the world of robots" - who enters? Americans, Chinese - yes! Russia is still in the ass and cannot enter further.
          1. Falcon5555
            Falcon5555 28 July 2020 01: 38
            But what about the robot Fedor? smile
            1. Charik
              Charik 7 September 2020 18: 03
              He and Rogozin - got drunk - will not fly anywhere
  4. rocket757
    rocket757 27 July 2020 18: 53
    Talk about this ... better, let's not talk, yet.
    1. dauria
      dauria 27 July 2020 19: 19
      Talk about this ... better, let's not talk, yet.

      January 1981 "Foreign Military Review". 4 months before the first shuttle flight. A good description with a bunch of numbers. It is interesting to compare with the current level of "reading"
  5. Andylw
    Andylw 27 July 2020 20: 15
    even the Arabs have already bypassed us ... where else?
    after the disgrace with phobos-soil, no conclusions were made, the sawing continues
    soon the Europeans from the exomars will come out with our time shifts to the right and plans to close the protons
    1. zwlad
      zwlad 27 July 2020 21: 24
      How to go further? Soon the Papuans will send missions to Mars and we will read about it with envy.
    2. halflife3
      halflife3 28 July 2020 10: 59
      "Amal" spacecraft was built by the Americans, the rocket was provided by Japan, the project was paid for using petrodollars.

      The Arabs did not build it, they bought the program.
    3. Abram Ivanovich
      Abram Ivanovich 1 August 2020 22: 13
      Am I wrong, or the Arabs have a chipboard station made? It will look like a chthonic horror.
    4. Charik
      Charik 7 September 2020 18: 04
      And why do they need Mars, now they will finish building SP-2 and they can start to lay in America through Alaska
  6. Thunderbolt
    Thunderbolt 28 July 2020 01: 43
    As far as I understand, uryashnost de-energizes my brain ... but I don’t think so easily, and I also demand
  7. ont65
    ont65 28 July 2020 03: 37
    It has already become a tradition for us to screw up Martian projects. Even this year, ExoMars with ESA and that because of the pandemic (this is a very important reason!) Has not been implemented. No one will ever say whether lessons have been learned from Phobos-soil for 5 billion rubles. and as now with the AMC underdogs, imported components not designed (oh horror!) for cosmic radiation and home-grown programmers-coders with a salary of 20t.r. confusing MSC + 3 with MSC + 4 in the onboard clock, are things going?
    1. Kart
      Kart 28 July 2020 08: 57
      Nothing wrong. Now experts with VO will catch up, and how will they start programming!
  8. Narak-zempo
    Narak-zempo 28 July 2020 08: 59
    Hmm, the company has gathered.

    The Saudis bought AMC out of excess money and for show-off. "Hope" laughing Are they hoping to find oil there? The Gavar deposit is close to depletion, so it burns up with the sheikhs.

    Chinese. These are really, let them fly first. They have all space technologies received from Russia in one way or another, but this does not mean that they have learned to use them correctly.

    USA. What can I say. We gave birth to a drone that can fly for 3 minutes. Yes, the cheapest Chinese copter from "Ashan" is capable of more. And then, there are serious reasons to suspect that they are driving all their "rovers" in the Californian desert - they somehow burned out, showing frames without the imposed "Martian" filters.

    And by the way, where is Elon Musk? Something you can't see. Musk, whoa! wassat

    In general, all of them would not hurt to remember that the first rovers were launched by Russia back in 1971.
    1. Freemason Mason
      Freemason Mason 28 July 2020 11: 39
      Not Russia, but the USSR. This is an important clarification, since the USSR included 15 republics, and all made their own contribution to the common cause. But as for the Soviet missions to Mars with a landing on the planet, they were all unsuccessful. None of the devices reached their goals. And in modern Russia, this is generally the case - Phobos-Grunt was launched not to Mars, but to the ocean.

      It is also unclear why you dragged Elon Musk to this news - SpaceX is not engaged in the study of other planets, they are engaged in the development of rockets and ships for delivering goods and people into space. And in this area they have bypassed Roskosmos for a couple of decades.
      1. Narak-zempo
        Narak-zempo 28 July 2020 11: 52
        Quote: Freemason
        Not Russia, but the USSR

        Yeah, yeah, even push aside about the "new historical community - the Soviet people", like a senile Brezhnev.
        Even in the West we were called Russians, not “Soviet”.
        Quote: Freemason
        But as for missions to Mars with rovers - they were all unsuccessful.

        Mars 2 crashed on landing, and Mars 3 landed successfully, but was destroyed by a dust storm.
        Quote: Freemason
        And in modern Russia, this is generally the case - Phobos-Grunt was launched not to Mars, but to the ocean

        So the Americans put it out of action - either with the help of HAARP, or by radiation from the missile defense radar from Kwajalein.
        Quote: Freemason
        It is also unclear why you dragged Elon Musk to this news - SpaceX is not engaged in space exploration, they are engaged in the development of rockets and ships to deliver goods and people into space.

        Besides, where is his vaunted Falcon Heavy? Only Tesla's mass-dimensional models can be thrown "in the direction of Mars", but real devices cannot.
        However, what to expect from a person with the nickname "free mason" request

        ZY Everything above just for lulz laughing
        1. Freemason Mason
          Freemason Mason 28 July 2020 12: 04
          Let me explain again - Soviet AMS were launched on a par and together with today's Russia - Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the rest of the Republics.
          Quote: Narak-zempo
          Mars 2 crashed on landing, and Mars 3 landed successfully, but was destroyed by a dust storm.

          This does not negate the fact that the mission was unsuccessful. And in the composition of the Mars missions conducted by the USSR, there was not a single rover, only research stations descended to the surface of the planet.
          Quote: Narak-zempo
          So the Americans put it out of action - either with the help of HAARP, or by radiation from the missile defense radar from Kwajalein.

          You should watch less Ren TV.

          And on the facts, there is nothing to object lol
  9. Bersaglieri
    Bersaglieri 28 July 2020 12: 20
    The Chinese launched their Mars-96.
    1. Garant_Solntselikij
      Garant_Solntselikij 28 July 2020 14: 40
      The Chinese launched their Mars-96

      96 like without a rover was
  10. The comment was deleted.
  11. Comrade Michael
    Comrade Michael 29 July 2020 14: 49
    In the early 70s, the design bureau began to develop a Martian UAV, but the Americans will fly. It's a pity of course. Well, good luck to them! And the rover of the previous 15 years on Mars worked. Not bad at all.
  12. Angelo Provolone
    Angelo Provolone 30 July 2020 01: 23
    Everything is already. There is no time for buildup.
  13. Charik
    Charik 7 September 2020 17: 56
    And we have !!, and we have gas in our apartment
  14. viktor_ui
    viktor_ui 6 October 2020 12: 00
    But Roskokosmos ANNOUNCED the future concept of a new methane rocket REUSABLE ( I drew this pipe with legs, you know how anyone has ... reliability ... Guess from three times who issued this TALE bully
    The question is prosaic and to the masses: why, when any others fly into near and deep space, do you want to raise your thumb up! Well, after the next news from our space industry, only one thing rises in the soul - they communed again or something, or another blabblaby and tales from the crypt with an imitation of an allegedly violent activity with a ridiculous exhaust at the exit ??? Why does the nigative never leave me since the arrival of the deceased Popovkin in Roskosmos ... and my heart is getting worse, because the stupid and pompous hucksters grabbed the pride of my childhood with a stranglehold ...? Why, why - by head of cabbage wassat
    And how correct is I. Mask's answer