Planet Mars has become, in recent years, the main target for space agencies when it comes to alternatives for Earth. The Red Planet is the only planet in our solar system that can harbor life, except for ours. Therefore, scientists are joining forces to explore Mars’s environment as much as possible, and the latest country that adds itself to the list is China.
The Asian country plans to reach our neighboring planet in 2020 and wants to prepare for the mission with the launch of Shijian 20 test satellite. A rocket called Long March 5 carried it into space, which is one of the world’s most powerful rockets.
Liftoff took place from Wenchang launch site
The launch took place on Friday from the Wenchang launch site at 8:45 pm (12:45 pm GMT). It’s located on the island of Hainan. The Chinese state broadcaster CCTV live-streamed the whole process.
Wu Yanhua, the deputy head of China’s National Space Administration, stated:
The Long March 5 rocket is tasked with important missions,
It will be tasked with a series of key missions including launching China’s first Mars probe, the Chang’e-5 lunar probe and a core module for the manned space station.
The launching is part of China’s very ambitious plans regarding the planet Mars. The ensemble will be testing key technologies related to future space missions, as Xinhua news reports.
Humans to Mars in 2022?
China might send humans to Mars even before NASA or SpaceX if it all goes according to the plan. It would be a world premiere and a tremendous step forward made by humanity. Elon Musk’s SpaceX agency even has as its ultimate goal to colonize the Red Planet. Of course, it will be a very long process, but the first step of landing humans there has to be done.
But another main question arises: would we encounter any alien life forms on Mars?