MICROSATELLITE TO EXPLORE MARS’S ENVIRONMENT
(Credits: Center for Space Science and Applied Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Flight opportunity with Phobos-Grunt
In March 2007 China and Russia signed an agreement which included the following:
- the launch of 115 kg Chinese Mars exploration satellite Yinghuo-1 (Yinghuo is the Chinese name for Mars, from the words ying: red, and huo: unpredictable)
- ground support of YH-1 carried out by Russia
- joint space observations of Mars by Phobos-Grunt and YH-1.
- 3-axis stabilised platform with deployable solar panels
- Mass: 110 kg
- Power: 90 W average, max 180 W
- Payload mass: 11 kg
- Payload power: 20 W
- Nominal lifetime: 1 year
YH-1 orbit parameters
- Apoapsis: 80,000 km
- Periapsis: 800 km
- Inclination: ≤ 36°
YH-1 science objectives
- In-depth study of the planet’s magnetosphere, ionosphere as well as plasma distribution and fluctuation in the Martian environment.
- Studying ion escape mechanisms and their role in water loss;
- Monitoring the evolution of Mars’s surface topography, dust storms, and their impact on the ionosphere.
- Exploring Mars’ gravitational field along the equator by analysis YH-1’s orbital data.