BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday unveiled an experiment simulating the process of a probe hovering, avoiding obstacles and descending to land on Mars.
The experiment was held on a trial ground, the largest one in Asia for test landing on extraterrestrial bodies, in Huailai County, north China's Hebei Province.
China plans to launch the Mars probe in 2020, aiming to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission, an unprecedented achievement, according to the China National Space Administration.
How to safely land on Mars is one of the biggest challenges facing the mission.
The experiment simulated the gravity of Mars, about one-third of the gravity on Earth, to test the design of the lander.
Ambassadors and diplomats from 19 countries including France, Italy and Brazil, as well as representatives from the European Union, the African Union and the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization were invited to visit the experiment.