Science 2 min read

China's Mars Mission Could Launch this July

Vadim Sadovski /

Vadim Sadovski /

China was late to the space race. The country didn’t launch its first satellite into space until 1970 after the United States had put the first man on the moon.

In the decades that followed, however, Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space program to catch up with rival countries. Now, the nation is actively pursuing lunar exploration as well as a Mars mission.

Last month, China’s space agency revealed that it had named its first Mars exploration missionTianwen 1,” meaning “quest for heavenly truth.” At the time, the agency also stated that the mission was on track to take place “in the coming months.”

Now, there’s a definite month. According to recent reports from China’s space program, the Mars mission could launch as early as June.

In a statement issued on Sunday, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said:

“This big project is progressing as planned, and we are targeting a launch in July.”

So far, only two countries — the United States and the former Soviet Union — have successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars. China could soon become the third nation to achieve this feat.

What to Expect from China’s Mars Mission

The Chinese mission will put a probe into Mars orbit, and land the robotic rover to analyze the red planet’s surface.

According to CNSA, the robotic probe will consist of an orbiter, lander, as well as a six-wheeled rover with solar panels. The probe will also carry up to 13 scientific instruments for studying Mar’s soil, geological structure, environment, and atmosphere.

It’ll take several months for the probe to cover the roughly 31 million miles between Earth and Mars. However, China announced that the robotic probe should land on the red planet’s surface before June 2021.

Beijing has carried out similar space missions in the past.

Back in January 2019, the nation landed a small rover on the dark side of the moon’s surface — the first nation to do so. What’s more, China is also planning a human-crewed lunar mission in the 2030s.

If the mission proves successful, China will become the second country to put a man on the moon.

Read More: Scientists Identify the Safest Place to Live on Mars

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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