China’s Mars ambitions one step closer after successful test of lander

Huailai, China (CNN)China has completed its first public test of a Mars lander, keeping the country on track for an unmanned exploration mission to the red planet in 2020. According to officials, the trial was designed to test the lander’s ability to hover and avoid obstacles, as well as monitoring how well it operated in a similar environment to Mars, where the pull of gravity is one-third of the Earth’s gravitational force. China invited diplomats and international media, including CNN, to witness the test. Beijing has pushed for more inclusion in international space projects but the US tightly restricts the ways NASA can work with China’s space program. The Chinese government told the dozens of watching journalists that the test …