china is on its way to etch its name in the annals of history. It has readied Long March 5 rocket, which is the country’s most powerful launcher. The previous launch in 2017 was not successful. Its team of specialists investigated, carried out redesigning and the space agency is upbeat about this fresh attempt. The success of this launch will pave the way for China to go ahead with its subsequent plans. These would lead to ambitious robotic deep space missions in 2020 with artificial intelligence and robotics gaining importance. China is determined to keep pace with the United States, Russia, and European countries who are into space related activities and have their sights focused on the moon, and Mars.

Spaceflight Now says China has already identified a tentative time frame. The schedule for its first Mars rover could happen in mid-2020 provided launch of Long March 5 gives positive results. Reason for zeroing in on mid-2020 for the mission to Mars is the availability of an appropriate time slot. In case that slot is missed, there would be a long wait until 2022 for the most favorable positioning of the Earth and Mars. Then only would it be possible to undertake a direct interplanetary journey.

Future of China’s space projects

One of the space projects of China is the Chang’e 5 lunar sample return mission.

This will depend on the success of Long March 5 rocket because it can provide the necessary lift capability to leave the Earth and head for the moon. There is already delay on this project due to failure of the 2017 mission.

Spaceflight Now says another major project is the space station, to complete by 2022.

An upgraded variant of the Long March 5 rocket would enter the scene to launch modules of the planned space station. Right now, all eyes are on the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, located on Hainan Island in southern China. This is China’s newest spaceport.

China set to enter the elite club

According to Space, China’s Long March 5 heavy-lift rocket could propel the country into the elite club of those who have their eyes on other planets.

The carrier rocket is Long March 5 Y3, and the latest launch will be its third one. The earlier one of July 2017 was a technical failure and the reasons are established. Incidentally, this booster is an important entity for its future space station, apart from exploration plans of the moon and Mars. Deputy head Wu Yanhua of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) confirms the plans. These include launch of China's first Mars probe, followed by the Chang’e 5 lunar probe and a core module for the manned space station. That would mean the presence of another skylab in space and a companion for the International Space Station.