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China succeeds in lander test for 2020 mission

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China succeeds in lander test for 2020 mission

Ahead of an unmanned exploration mission to Mars next year, China successfully completed a lander test in northern Hebei, 14th of November.

Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration said China is well on track to kick start the mission next year. The test was conducted at a sprawling test site in Huailai, northwest of Beijing.

Meanwhile, chief architect of the Mars exploration programme, Zhang Rongqiao said the journey through space would take about seven months, while the landing would take seven minutes.

Long March 5 rocket was developed by China in order to transport the probe to Mars. Ite was designed to to deliver the Chang’e 5 probe to the moon by the end of this year or early next to bring back samples of lunar rocks.

A historic first and major achievement for China’s space programme was when Chang’e 4 successfully touched down on the far side of the moon in January.

In 2013, China made its first lunar landing and expects to complete a modular space station by about 2022. It is the time when NASA is said to start building a new space station laboratory to orbit to the moon as a pit stop for missions to other parts of the solar system.

China became the third nation to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States in 2003, Since then, it has been racing to catch up with Russia and the United States and to become a major space power by 2030.

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