- Oct 30, 2009
- Reaction score
China has given the world a first glimpse of its design for the space probe and rover it plans to use in its first mission to Mars.
It intends to launch its mission in mid-2020.
As part of the announcement in Beijing, the authorities also launched a public competition to come up with a name and logo for the voyager.
China's ambitious space programme has been progressing at a rapid pace in recent years.
Not really, this one was yesterday (Wednesday, around 18:53 UTC).Two failures today?
China's first space station is expected to fall back to Earth in the second half of 2017, amid speculation authorities have lost control of it.
The Tiangong-1 or "Heavenly Palace" laboratory was launched in 2011 as part of an ambitious Chinese plan to catch up with other space powers.
However, a senior space official has said the lab had "comprehensively fulfilled its historical mission".
The lab is currently intact and orbiting at 370km above ground.
China’s Tiangong-2 space laboratory arrived in its operational orbit after completing a pair of orbit-raising maneuvers following its successful launch on Thursday.
The ‘Heavenly Palace’ is now awaiting the arrival of the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft with two crew members set for a month-long stay aboard the orbiting complex.
The 8,600-Kilogram space station module lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert at 14:04 UTC on Thursday, riding atop a Long March 2F rocket. Heading south-east across China’s mainland, the 52-meter carrier rocket provided Tiangong-2 with a smooth nine-and-a-half-minute ride into Low Earth Orbit.
Upon separation from the booster, Tiangong-2 immediately fired its low-thrust engines to pull away from the Long March 2F upper stage. The spacecraft then nulled attitude rates and successfully unfurled its two large solar arrays while still in communication with tracking ships deployed to the Pacific Ocean. With good health data coming from the Tiangong-2 spacecraft, mission controllers in Beijing declared the launch a full success.