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Yinghuo 1

Yinghuo 1(YH-1)
Mars 1 or Firefly 1
Organization CNSA
Mission type Orbiter
Satellite of Mars
Launch date 2011 [1][2]
Launch vehicle Zenit rocket
Mission duration 1 year in Mars orbit
Mass 110 kg
Orbital elements
Orbital period 3 days
Apoapsis 800 km
Periapsis 80,000 km

On March 26, 2007, the director of the China National Space Administration, Sun Laiyan, and the head of the Russian Space Agency, Anatoly Perminov signed the "Cooperative Agreement between the China National Space Administration and the Russian Space Agency on joint Chinese-Russian exploration of Mars". This include the launch of a Mars probe named Yinghuo 1 scheduled for 2011.[3] The probe will be 75 cm long, 75 cm wide and 60 cm high. Weighing 110 kg, it is designed for a two-year mission, according to Chen Changya, a researcher at the Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering.

The name Yinghuo (simplified Chinese: 萤火traditional Chinese: 螢火pinyin: yínghuǒ), which means "firefly" (literally "luminous fire"), is a tribute to the homophone yinghuo (simplified Chinese: 荧惑traditional Chinese: 熒惑pinyin: yínghuò), an ancient Chinese name for Mars (literally "shimmering bewilderment").

China's Yinghuo 1 and the Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft was to be sent together to Mars by a Russian Zenit rocket with a Fregat upper stage from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 6 to 16 October 2009.[4] Originally, in August–September 2010, after a voyage lasting between 10 and 11.5 months, Yinghuo 1 was to have separated and entered an 800 × 80,000 km three-day equatorial orbit at 5° inclination. The spacecraft is expected to remain in Martian orbit for one year. Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo 1 will conduct Mars ionosphere occultation experiments. The probe will experience seven periods of 8.8 hours in darkness while the sun is obscured by the red planet.[5]

The main scientific objectives include: (1) detailed investigation of the plasma environment and magnetic field; (2) study of Martian ion escape processes and possible mechanisms; (3) ionosphere occultation measurements between Yinghou 1 and Phobos-Grunt, focusing on the sub-solar and midnight regions; and (4) observation of sand storms.

The scientific payload consists of a five-instrument payload including a plasma package (consisting of an electron analyzer and an ion analyzer and mass spectrometer), fluxgate magnetometer, radio-occultation sounder and an optical imager camera with 200 m resolution at best to take pictures of Mars.[6][7]


  • 110 kg
  • Power: 90 W (averaged), 180 W (peak)
  • HGA 950 mm antenna dish (S-band), 12 W transmitter in two frequencies (8.4 and 7.17 GHz), data rate between 8 bps and 16 kbps
  • LGA: 80 bit/s (up/down link),
  • 2×3 section solar array, total length 5.6 m
  • 3-axis stabilized, solar array perpendicular to the Sun
  • Direct communication with Earth - use of ESA and Russian deep space antennae, use of VLBI for localization
  • Two imaging cameras (square 20 degree and 38 degree fields)




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