China Mars probe set for November launch

February 21, 2011
China's first Mars probe will be launched from a Russian rocket in November, two years later than originally planned, state media reported Monday.

China's first Mars probe will be launched from a Russian rocket in November, two years later than originally planned, state media reported Monday.

China's Mars explorer, Yinghuo-1, marks the country's first attempt at deep space exploration after sending a probe to the moon, the state-run China Daily reported, citing comments from a China Academy of Space Technology official.

The 110-kilogram (240-pound) micro-satellite was originally due to blast off in October 2009 with Russia's "Phobos Explorer" from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan but the launch was postponed, according to previous reports.

The orbiter is due to probe the Martian with a special focus on what happened to the water that appears to have once been abundant on the planet's surface, previous reports said.

China is aiming to build a programme on par with those of the United States and Russia.

It currently has a probe -- the Chang'e 2 -- orbiting the moon and carrying out various tests in preparation for the expected 2013 launch of the Chang'e-3, which it hopes will be its first unmanned .

It became the world's third nation to put a man in space independently -- after the Soviet Union and the United States -- when Yang Liwei piloted the one-man Shenzhou-5 in 2003.

China's Wang Yue is currently participating in a simulation of a mission to Mars in Russia, where astronauts have spent eight months in a cut off from the world.

Explore further: China's first Mars orbiter in Russia for launch: state media

Related Stories

Russia delays Mars probe launch until 2012: report

September 16, 2009

Russia will pushed back its flagship satellite mission to Mars' moon until 2011 in a move which will delay the joint launch of China's first Mars probe, space sources were cited as saying Wednesday.

China preps next lunar space mission

September 10, 2010

China is on track to launch its second lunar satellite by year's end, as the country pursues its plans for a manned mission to the moon by 2020, state media said Friday.

China to explore Mars with Russia this year

January 2, 2011

China's first Mars probe is expected to be launched in October this year in a joint operation with Russia after a two-year delay, state media reported Sunday.

Recommended for you

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.