A Mars lander is lifted during a test for its hovering, obstacle avoidance and deceleration capabilities at a facility at Huailai in China’s Hebei province in this November 2019 file photo. (AP)
BEIJING — China has moved a rocket into position to launch a rover to Mars in one of three upcoming missions to the red planet, one from the U.S. and another by the United Arab Emirates.
The Long March-5 carrier rocket is China’s heaviest-lift launch vehicle and has been used experimentally three times, but never with a payload. Dubbed Tianwen-1, China’s mission to Mars aims to land a rover to gather scientific data. ADVERTISEMENT
The rocket is due to blast off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southern island province of Hainan in late July or early August, according to state media reports Friday that quoted the China National Space Administration.
The mission is one of the most ambitious yet for China’s space program, which has advanced rapidly since launching its first crewed mission in 2003. Since then, it has sent astronauts to an experimental space station, begun work on a larger, more permanent facility and landed a probe on the less-explored far side of the moon.FEATURED STORIES TECHNOLOGY 63-year-old master carpenter turns YouTube influencer TECHNOLOGY Globe at Home Postpaid introduces new innovative promo plans TECHNOLOGY Russia is hacking virus vaccine trials, US, UK, Canada say