The Chinese government successfully launched its heavy-lift Long March 5, carrying a satellite named Shijian 20 from a launch site on the island of Hainan.
China has promoted plans to reach Mars in 2020, and Friday’s launch is a positive sign after a failed launch in July 2017. At 187 feet tall, the Long March 5 is considered one of the largest and most powerful rockets in the world.
The launch bolsters Chinese hopes to send a Mars rover scheduled for 2020. The rover will require the Long March 5’s lift capability to exit Earth’s orbit.