July 17, 2020, 07.00 PM

BEIJING, KOMPAS.com — Plans for China’s first Mars mission are taking shape as the country recently moved a rocket into position to launch a rover to Mars.

This will the first of three upcoming missions to Mars alongside the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

China’s first Mars mission will use the Long March-5 carrier rocket which is its heaviest-lift launch vehicle.

The carrier rocket has been used experimentally three times though never with a payload.

The objective of its interstellar mission, dubbed Tianwen-1, is to gather scientific data.

China’s first Mars mission is set to blast off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the province of Hainan in late July or early August.

The information was shared by state media reports on July 17 that quoted the China National Space Administration.

The Chinese space program has swiftly progressed since launching its first mission back in 2003.

The upcoming mission is one of the most ambitious Chinese space program yet.

Since 2003, China 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.

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