China is still getting a little closer to launching its first mission to Mars scheduled for late July-early August. On July 17, the Long March-5 Y4 rocket was transported to the launch pad at Wenchang base, reports the Global Times, which refers to the Chinese National Space Administration.
Long March-5 Y4 is expected to become the first Chinese rocket to be sent to Mars as part of the Tianwen-1 mission. It was transported on Friday, July 17, to the launch base of Wenchang, informs a press release from the Chinese National Space Administration quoted by the Global Times.
The rocket launch from the base in Hainan province, in the south of the country, is scheduled between the end of July and the beginning of August indicates the media which refers to the same source.
According to the press release, Long March-5 Y4 arrived at the base at the end of May to carry out preparatory work, including assembly and pre-launch tests.
Launch date to be determined
For the moment, the date of the launch of the first Chinese Martian mission is not known, specifies the Global Times. It will be determined based on environmental factors, including weather conditions, the distance between Earth and Mars, the general condition of the center, as well as the results of an inspection of technical preparation, details Wang Ya’nan, editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, interviewed by the Global Times.
The Tianwen-1 probe mission, approved by the Chinese authorities in January 2016, will be the first launch of a rocket, in this case, Long March-5, the most powerful in China, on the Earth-Mars transfer orbit.
Long March-5 Y4 was built by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Society (CASC), a Chinese government enterprise that brings together most of the country’s space research, design, and manufacturing centers.