A heavy-lift Long March 5 rocket propelled China’s first Mars landing mission toward the Red Planet on Thursday after launching from a seaside spaceport on Hainan Island, the second of three international Mars probes expected to depart planet Earth this month.
China’s heaviest rocket has rolled to its launch pad for liftoff Thursday with the country’s first Mars landing mission, an ambitious attempt to place an orbiter around the Red Planet and a robotic rover on the Martian surface in early 2021.
Demonstrating a quick turnaround launch capability, China launched a light-class, solid-fueled Kuaizhou 1A rocket Sunday, four days after the same type of satellite booster fired into orbit from the same launch pad.
A Chinese satellite designed to track greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere rode into orbit Wednesday aboard a Long March 2D rocket, joining an international fleet of orbiting carbon dioxide monitors aimed at combating climate change.
An uncrewed spacecraft landed in China’s Inner Mongolia region Monday after nearly 13 days in orbit carrying an array of microgravity research experiments, including a groundbreaking investigation that showed mammal embryos can develop in space, Chinese state media reported.