China launched its first rover mission to Mars, said a BBC report.
A Long March 5 rocket from the Wenchang spaceport lifted off Earth on Hainan Island at 12:40 local time (04:40 GMT).
Onboard it is the six-wheeled robot, encapsulated in a protective probe.
The probe is called Tianwen-1, or “Questions to Heaven.”
According to the report, it should arrive in orbit around the Red Planet in February.
The rover won’t try to land on the surface for a further two to three months.
Second Mars Mission In A Week
This is not the Mars mission in a one week, in fact, it the second launch going to Mars.
On Monday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched its Hope satellite towards Mars, the Red Planet.
Meanwhile, NASA aims to dispatch its next-generation rover, Perseverance.
The NASA launch will be from a week from now.
With the rate China advance in terms of space exploration, an expert deemed said it is “impressive.”
BBC asked Dr. Rain Irshad, an autonomous systems leader at RAL Space in the UK.
Likewise, she is also involved in Nasa’s Insight lander on Mars.
“It’s incredibly exciting to see what China is doing.”
“Their space agency was only formed in 1993.
“And yet here they are, less than 30 years later, sending an orbiter, a lander and a rover to Mars.”
“But they put themselves through a training programme with their Chang’e missions at the Moon.”
“It’s been very impressive the way they’ve been banging out the lunar missions one after the other.”
Missions to Mars have a mixed success rate.
Conversely, the historic statistics for the exploration of the Red Planet are well known.
Only about half of all ventures failed, said the report.
Indeed, this is what happened to China’s first effort to send a satellite, Yinghuo-1.
Its Russian carrier stage failed and fell back towards the Pacific Ocean.
So far, only the Americans have managed to run long-lived operations on Mars.
Contrariwise, the Soviets’ Mars-3 and Europe’s Beagle-2 missions both failed.