China has successfully completed a key test landing in northern Hebei province on Thursday ahead of a historic Mars exploration mission next year.
China is on its way to launch its mission to Mars, said Thursdayang Kejian, head of China's National Space Administration, on Thursday, speaking to foreign diplomats and the media ahead of the test.
The Mars earthquake has undergone a test of hovering and obstacles at a widespread location in Huailai, northwest of Beijing. The site was filled with small rocky outcrops to simulate the uneven terrain on Mars, by which the land was to move by origin to the surface of the planet.
"In 2016, China officially began work on a Mars exploration mission and at the moment all the different development work is progressing smoothly," Angang said.
"The test for avoiding and removing obstacles to the Mars earthquake that is being carried out today is a key part of the development process. As scheduled, the first Chinese Mars exploration mission will take place in 2020. “
China developed the powerful Long March 5 rocket to transport the probe to Mars in 2020.
Traveling through space will take about seven months, while landing will take seven minutes, said Ang Rongkiao, chief architect of the Mars Research Program.
Landing will be the most difficult and challenging phase, he said.
The same Long 5 rocket is intended to deliver the Yang-5 probe to the moon by the end of 2019 or early next year to bring lunar rock samples.
The Yang-4 probe successfully touched the lunar surface in January this year, the first historic and major milestone for China's space program.
China made its first lunar landing in 2013.
China expects to complete the modular space station around 2022, around the time NASA says it will begin building a new lab for the orbiting space station around the moon, as a station for missions in other parts of the solar system.
In 2003, China became the third nation to put a man in space with its rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States.
Since then, it has struggled to catch up with Russia and the United States and become a major space power by 2030.
"China is currently actively planning and preparing a number of large space programs, including a Mars return mission, asteroid exploration missions and many more lunar missions," the head of the space administration said. (Writing by Ryan Wu and Liangping Gao; Editing by Rajo Gopalakrishnan and Quaklin Wong)