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Overview of Scientific Objectives of China-Russia Joint Mars Exploration Program YH-1

Wu Ji; Zhu Guangwu; Zhao Hua; Wang Chi; Li Lei; Sun Yueqiang; Guo Wei; Huang Chengli   

  • Received:1900-01-01 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2009-09-15 Published:2009-09-15

Abstract: Mars has been one of the most interesting planets in the solar system for human beings due to its orbit characteristics and its geology, and the main attraction is the possibility to find life on it. Since the 1990s, many exploration missions have been sent to Mars. From the beginning of this century, many space power countries have announced their manned Mars program strategy. China was the fifth country in the world to launch its artificial satellite on its own, and the third country to have the ability to carry out independent manned space program. However, China is not a power at all in deep space exploration. To catch up, China and Russia have signed an agreement on a joint Mars exploration program by sending a Chinese microsatellite Yinghuo-1 (YH-1) with Russian's Phobos-Grunt mission. Once YH-1 is in orbit, it will not only carry out its own exploration mission but also conduct joint measurement with Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft. In this paper, the scientific background is reviewed, the scientific objectives of YH-1 are given, and the scientific payloads and operation considerations are also briefly described.

Key words: Space astrometry