China Youth Daily reported on Thursday that China announced that it would begin its first Mars mission probe in July this year.
This is the first time the country revealed the launch month of its Mars exploration program, citing sources from China’s Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
The Mars probe will be sent by a Long March-5 Y4 carrier rocket.
Xinhua reported that the Long March-5Y4 rocket recently completed 100 seconds of testing for its high thrust hydrogen-oxygen engine, the final engine test.
According to the CASC, China will send an investigation into orbit and land and deploy a rover to Mars.
In 2020, the Long March-5 rocket will carry out several missions, including the Mars probe launch and lunar sample return.
A total of 24 high-speed hydrogen-oxygen rocket engine tests will be conducted this year for these missions.
In November last year, China conducted an experiment simulating the process of probing and avoiding obstacles to land on Mars.
The report from the news agency Xinhua said the test was conducted on a trial ground, the largest for test landings on extraterrestrial bodies in Huilai County, Hebei Province.
How to safely land on Mars is one of the biggest challenges of the mission.
The experiment simulated the gravity of Mars, which is about one third of the gravity on Earth, to test the lander’s design.