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China Just Launched a Mission to Hunt for Life on Mars

 — 23 juillet 2020
China has successfully launched its Tianwen-1 mission to Mars. The spacecraft, which is intended to hunt for life on the Red Planet, includes an orbiter, lander, and a rover.

A Long March 5 rocket took off from China’s Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site early Thursday morning local time, kicking off the country’s first mission to the Red Planet since its first failed attempt in 2011.

China now has the chance to become only the second country in the world, after the US, to land a functional robotic spacecraft on the surface of Mars. Other attempts by Europe and the Soviet Union have had only limited success. Both of Europe’s attempts failed, while the Soviet Union’s Mars 3 spacecraft managed to land in 1971 — but failed less than two minutes after landing.


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