2
$\begingroup$

Question: What is the purpose and necessity of this giant structure being used in tests of landing hovering and searching techniques to be used by China's Mars lander? It is shown in images (and a video) in China's Mars ambitions one step closer after successful test of lander as well as the YouTube video shown below.

I haven't seen anything similar for other Mars lander testing, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Do they?

China's Mars lander test

China's Mars lander test China's Mars lander test

China's Mars lander test

above: screenshots from the video.

click images for full size

below: from CNN

China's Mars lander test China's Mars lander test

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Seems to be an environment for lander tests under simulated martian gravity. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Nov 14 '19 at 16:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ from the piles of rocks, I'd guess they are trusting the lander to be doing some localised landing location selection, so the rig needs to allow some lateral movement. Other landers have relied upon being able to cope with landing on reasonable sized obstacles, $\endgroup$ – JCRM Nov 14 '19 at 18:37
7
$\begingroup$

According to Quanzhi Ye (via tweet; while not a primary source, he is planetary scientist who understands Chinese) it is for simulating Mars' lower gravity while testing obstacle avoidance for the Chinese Martian landers. There is some additional information on the testing program for the lander and Long March 5 rocket, which will carry it to Mars, in this article in Spectrum magazine of the IEEE.

The surface gravity of Mars is just 38 percent that of Earth. Simulating the Martian gravitational field adds complexity to terrestrial testing of entry, descent, and landing (EDL) sequences.

In the past there has not been very much public information about Chinese planetary missions in advance and even less in the English language.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.