China successfully launches first Mars mission
A Mars probe is launched on a Long March-5 rocket from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China's Hainan Province, July 23, 2020.
WENCHANG, Hainan, July 23 -- CAST launched a Mars probe on Thursday, aiming to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission, and taking the first step in its planetary exploration of the solar system.
A Long March-5 rocket, China's largest launch vehicle, carrying the spacecraft with a mass of about 5 tonnes, soared into the sky from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of southern China's island province of Hainan at 12:41 p.m. (Beijing Time).
About 36 minutes later, the spacecraft, including an orbiter and a rover, was sent into the Earth-Mars transfer orbit, embarking on an almost seven-month journey to the red planet.
China's first Mars mission is named Tianwen-1, which means Questions to Heaven and comes from a poem written by Qu Yuan (about 340-278 BC), one of the greatest poets of ancient China. The name signifies the Chinese nation's perseverance in pursuing truth and science and exploring nature and the universe.
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