China Launches World Most Powerful Rocket
China launches a test of the ‘world most powerful rocket’ as part of its planned mission to send a probe and rover to Mars in 2020
The ‘Long March 5’ rocket left the Wenchang launch site on the island of Hainan on Friday carrying a Shijian 20 test satellite.
It launched at 12:45 GMT and the satellite was sent into its planned orbit after 33 minutes, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The success of the Long March 5 launch gets the Chinese space programme back on track after a previous attempt in July 2017 failed mid-launch.
It was a test of ‘key technologies related to future space missions’, according to the China’s National Space Administration.
The Asian powerhouse is one of four countries planning a mission to Mars in 2020 as July is the point when Mars and Earth are in the best position relative to each other for a landing on the Red Planet.
The USA is sending the Mars 2020 rover, Europe and Russia are working together to launch the Rosalind Franklin rover and the UAE are sending an orbiter.
With China there will be three vehicles from Earth searching for ancient Martian life by 2021 when they are all expected to land.