China’s successful launch of Mars mission seals global era in deep-space exploration
Tianwen-1 is the second of three spacecraft set to take off this month for the red planet.
A Chinese spacecraft is on its way to Mars after launching successfully from Hainan Island in southern China. The mission — named Tianwen-1, which means ‘questions to heaven’ — is the country’s first attempt to land on the red planet.
The 5,000-kilogram spacecraft, which contains a lander, orbiter and rover, blasted off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center aboard a Chinese Long March-5 rocket at 12:41 p.m. local time on 23 July. Some 36 minutes later, the craft was successfully put on its trajectory towards Mars.