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Long March 5 Series Launch Vehicle ready for flying to Mars!
In the morning on July 17, LM5 Yaosi launch vehicle was transferred vertically to the launching area after the assembling test in the technical area in Wenchang Satellite Launch Center was finished. It was intended for China’s first Mars exploration task to be carried out in an appropriate time between late July and early August (Tianwen No. 1 planetary exploration task).
All launch vehicles and probes for China’s first Mars exploration are developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology is responsible for the general design and development of LM5 booster and Mars orbiter.
▲ The movable launch platform carrying LM5 Yaosi lunch vehicle out of the workshop (photographed by Wang Lei)
▲ LM5 Yaosi lunch vehicle (photographed by Chen Li)
After the launch vehicle was transported to the launching site at the end of May, the launch process was tested according to the flying task. The final assembling, test, and other preparations were finished in succession.
▲ LM5 getting ready (photographed by Wang Lei)
▲Shinning with the rising sun (photographed by Wang Lei)
In the morning on July 17, the movable launch platform drove out of the vertical test room at the launching site and transported LM5 Yaosi launch vehicle safely to the launching area.
▲ Up to the sky (photographed by Chen Li)
▲ LM5 probing into the sky (photographed by Wang Lei)
Later, after the functional check and joint test of the launch vehicle are finished, and the final state is verified, the launch vehicle will be loaded with propellant and launched as scheduled.
▲ Flags streaming in the wind (photographed by Wang Lei)
This is the first applicability-based launchof Long March 5 Series Launch Vehicle, as well as the first time for China’s launch vehicle to carry out the earth-Mars transfer orbit launch task.
▲ Development team of the launch vehicle and probe (photographed by Wang Lei)
China’s first Mars exploration task was approved in January 2016; it aims to realize Mars orbiting, landing and explorationthrough primary launch and obtain the scientific data of Mars exploration. This will be the first step of planetary exploration in China.
Source: Official WeChat Account of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation