BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing Aerospace Control Center announced on Tuesday that China completed a probe test ahead of an exploration mission to Mars this year.
The wireless network test is the only joint ground rehearsal between the mission center and the spacecraft. The compatibility and consistency of the probe and the ground systems have been verified.
According to the center, the test has not been affected by the novel coronavirus epidemic, and the technical staff is working hard to ensure the success of the mission.
As scheduled, China's first Mars exploration mission will take place in 2020. The country plans to send a probe to orbit and land and deploy a rover on the planet. The probe will be launched by the Long March-5 carrier rocket.
Cui Xiaofeng, head of the mission team, said the spaceflight control would be difficult and full of challenges as the probe would take nearly seven months to land on Mars.
Every 26 months, Mars reaches the closest point to Earth in its orbit, and the nearest launch window to Mars is this year, at which time launching a spacecraft will use the least amount of fuel.
Several countries have revealed plans for launching Mars probe missions this year.