HUAILAI, China (AP) — China showed off its Mars spacecraft during a landing test Thursday as the country pushes for inclusion in more global space projects.
The demonstration of hovering, obstacle avoidance and deceleration capabilities was conducted at a site outside Beijing simulating conditions on the red planet, where the pull of gravity is about one-third that of Earth.
China plans to launch a lander and rover to Mars next year to explore parts of the planet, one of four scheduled missions. The U.S. and Europe are also sending rovers to Mars next year, and the United Arab Emirates plans to launch an orbiter.
China's burgeoning space program achieved a lunar milestone earlier this year by landing a spacecraft on the mysterious far side of the moon