The Chinese Claimed NASA’s Moon Exploration Vehicle Was Copied From Them

According to the news from the South China Morning Post newspaper, Chinese scientists working closely on both projects noted that the Volatile Materials Pole Reconnaissance Vehicle (VIPER), designed for NASA’s lunar exploration mission Artemis, mimics motion technology used in Curong for the first time. .

Scientists, whose names are not mentioned but are believed to have played a role in Curong’s design, pointed out that the suspension mechanism, which allows the mobile robotic vehicle to continue its forward acceleration by raising its hind legs like a caterpillar when it hits an obstacle while moving on the surface, is used in NASA’s newly designed vehicle.

Scientists said that NASA’s rover surface vehicles, previously designed for lunar and Mars missions, tried to get rid of it by pushing the wheel back and forth with the motion logic called “swing-roll” when it hit the obstacle, and this caused serious problems.

When the wheel of NASA’s first Mars rover “Sojourner” got stuck in a rock during its exploration of the Red Planet in 1997, the ground control team spent days getting the vehicle moving again.

On the other hand, NASA’s “Spirit” rover was stuck in the sand on Mars in 2010 and disconnected from Earth after months of fruitless efforts.

A view from the Chinese Mars rover Curong.


The US has accused China of stealing space technologies for years. So much so that the White House and Congress banned NASA from collaborating with China on space studies due to intellectual property concerns.

Scientists for the first time claim that the US is inspired by China in this area, and they claim the opposite.

Speaking to the paper, the scientist, who said he was “following the projects closely,” said, “This is a copy of China’s design. It’s not a system we’ve used on previous reconnaissance missions.” expressed his opinion.

“NASA is a good space agency with brilliant ideas and innovations, but the budget cuts of recent years, the increasingly conservative approach and other problems are preventing the adoption of new technologies. “Using them in VIPER may be just the beginning. Many new and exciting technologies are still under development in China. Maybe they should copy from us in the future.”

The report noted that NASA did not respond to a request for comment on the allegations.

Curong was launched on July 23, 2020 with an orbital satellite as part of China’s reconnaissance mission to Mars, and the reconnaissance vehicles reached the Red Planet on February 10, 2021.

The Mars exploration mission “Tienwin”, which means “the truth in the heavens” in Chinese, takes its name from the lines of the Chinese poet Zhou Yuen from the 4th century BC. The mobile robot is named after Curong, the god of fire and war in Chinese mythology.


In recent years, China has emerged as a new power in the space race led by the US and Russia with its ambitious strides toward lunar and Mars exploration missions, satellite technology and manned space expeditions.

China, which has made significant progress in developing a self-sufficient space program using the rockets, satellites, space shuttles, reconnaissance vehicles and other equipment it has produced over the past 20 years, has a “Tiengong” (moon palace) and a lunar exploration program named after the moon fairy “Chang-ı”. He is working on establishing his own space station, which he has named.

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