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China launches first Mars mission

WENCHANG: China has launched a Mars probe, aiming to complete orbiting, landing, and roving in one mission.
A Long March-5 rocket, China’s largest launch vehicle, carrying the spacecraft with a mass of about 5 tonnes, soared into the sky from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of southern China’s island province of Hainan.
According to the China National Space Administration (CNSA), about 36 minutes later, the spacecraft, including an orbiter and a rover, was sent into the Earth-Mars transfer orbit. It embarked on an almost seven-month journey to the red planet.

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China’s first Mars mission has been named Tianwen-1, which means Questions to Heaven and comes from a poem written by Qu Yuan (about 340-278 BC), one of the greatest poets of ancient China.
The CNSA said that the name signifies the Chinese nation’s perseverance in pursuing truth and science and exploring nature and the universe.  
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