OREANDA-NEWS. Xinhua agency reported that on July 23, the carrier rocket Changzheng-5 with the automatic interplanetary station Tianwen-1 was launched. This is the first Chinese mission to explore Mars.

The start took place at 12:41 local time (5:45 UTC) from the Chinese Spacecraft Launching Site Wenchang located on the island of Hainan. Tianwen-1 consists of an orbiter and a landing platform with a rover. The Chinese station should reach Mars on February 11, 2021.

The purpose of the mission is to search for traces of life on Mars, as well as to study the possibility of human colonization of the planet. If the mission is successful, scientists will be able to study the planet’s atmosphere, topography, magnetic field and other features, which should help to learn more about the origin and evolution of Mars and the Solar System.