The red planet of our solar system has always been an attraction for space researchers worldwide. The planet is kept under observation through various missions till the date since late 20th century. Currently, the planet is getting surveyed by seven rovers from the missions—Mars Science Laboratory mission, Mars Express, Mars Odyssey, MAVEN, Mars Orbiter Mission, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Trace Gas Orbiter.
Scientists have received a massive wealth of data from previous missions but still plan to organize more missions dedicated to the Mars exploration program as the planet needs to go under a deep interior investigation. To study Mars deeply, scientists are looking forward to future Mars missions such as Mars 2020 Rover (NASA), Hope Mars Mission (UAE), Mars Orbiter Mission 2 (ISRO), ExoMars Rosalind Franklin Rover (ROSCOSMOS and ESA) and 2020 Mars mission (CNSA).
This Thursday, China conducted a successful test for its lander in preparation for its upcoming mission to mars held in 2020. This refrigerator-sized spacecraft was tested in northern Hebei province.
During the test, the lander was headed down with the help of 36 cables from a crane for Mars gravity simulation test. With the help of on-board jets, it hovered for a while on the rocks and landed safely to demonstrate its ability of avoiding obstacles successfully.
Zhang Kejian—director, China National Space Administration (CNSA)—said that the test was conducted successfully. As per the preparations, CNSA is going to launch the mission next year, likely in July. Zhang added that specific date for launching the lander in space is not decided yet. As soon as the lander finds a safer location to land on Mars, it will launch the proposed rover on Martian surface.
According to Zhang, China is making its debut in Mars exploration program through this mission. The mission is aimed for conducting an all-inclusive exploration and making thorough inspection of various key areas on Mars.