China's 2020 Mission to Mars
|Source: Chinese Mars Lander Test|
China - Emerging Space Power
China just successfully completed a landing test of its Mars lander that will contain a rover to explore Mars. This puts China squarely on track for its Mission to Mars in the summer of 2020. This mission involves landing on and exploring the Red Planet. Mars is cold and barren but it's considered the only planet other than Earth that is habitable. The Chinese space mission could contribute to the international effort to learn about and start understanding the climate conditions and mineral resources on Mars.
Billions of Dollars Invested in Space
China is pouring billions of dollars into its military-run space program. It hopes to have a crewed space station in orbit by 2022. China's space investment is paying off. Early in 2019 it landed a rover on the far side of the Moon, which is a first. Clearly, China is emerging as a major space power along with the US, Russia and Europe.
In the test, China's refrigerator sized lander was lowered from a crane on 36 cables into Mars like gravity conditions. Using its onboard jets, the lander found a safe place to land amid piles of rocks. The test demonstrated that the lander can successfully maneuver to avoid obstacles and land safely.