China showed off its Mars spacecraft during a landing test last week in the northern province of Hebei.
China is planning to send a lander and roverto Mars next year to explore parts of the red planet.
The United States and European space agency are also sending rovers to the planet in 2020, and the United Arab Emirates plans to launch an orbiter.
Zhang Kejian is head of the China National Space Administration. Before the landing test, he told foreign diplomats and the media that China's Mars Mission is onschedule.
Officials say the Mars lander successfully passed a hovering and obstacle avoidance test. The landing area had small piles of rocks on the ground, similar to what the uneven surface on Mars is like. The lander will have to move around on this kind of surface when it gets to the planet.
官员们说，火星着陆器成功通过了一项悬停和避障测试。 着陆区的地面上有一小堆岩石，类似于火星上不平坦的表面。 着陆器到达星球时将不得不在这种表面上移动。
"In 2016, China officially began the Mars exploration mission work," Zhang said, "and currently all of the different development work is progressing smoothly."
China has developed a powerful rocket, the Long March 5, to send the spacecraft to Mars in 2020.
Zhang Rongqiao is chief designer of the Mars mission. He said the trip to the plant will last about seven months. But landing on it will take only about seven minutes.
The landing will be the most difficult part of the space flight, he said.
张荣乔是火星任务的首席设计师。 他说，这次宇宙之旅将持续约七个月。 但是降落仅需七分钟。
Many spacecraft sent to Mars have been lost or destroyed over the years. Only the U.S. space agency NASA has been successful, with eight landings.
China's space program plans to use a Long March 5 rocket to send a spacecraft to the Moon by the end of this year, or early next year. The Chang'e-5 spacecraft will bring back pieces of rock from the moon's surface.
Last January a Chang'e-4 probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon. While NASA sent humans to the moon, this was the first time for a probe to touch down on the lesser-known far side. The landing was a major success for China's space program.
去年一月，一个嫦娥四号探测器成功地触及了月球的另一端。 当NASA将人类送上月球时，这是探测器首次降落在鲜为人知的远端。 登陆是中国航天计划的一项重大成功。
China first landed a spacecraft on the moon in 2013.
The U.S. government has barred most space cooperation with China out of security concerns. The ban has kept China from sending crews to the International Space Station, or ISS.
In 2003, China became the third nation to put a human in space with its own rocket. The former Soviet Union and the United States were the first. Since then, China has been racing to catch up with the two countries. It hopes to become a major space power by 2030.
2003年，中国成为第三个使用自己的火箭将人类送入太空的国家。 前苏联和美国是第一批。 从那时起，中国一直在追赶两国，它希望到2030年成为主要的太空大国。
China is also building a permanent space station, larger than the ISS. It has invited other countries to take part in the project. Chinese officials expect to complete work on the project around 2022. That is about the time when NASA is said to start building a new space station laboratory to orbit the moon. The U.S. plans to use the new laboratory as a stopping place for trips to other parts of the solar system.
中国还在建设一个比国际空间站更大的永久性空间站。 它邀请了其他国家参加该项目， 中国官员表示，预计将在2022年左右完成该项目的工作。据说是在NASA开始建造一个新的空间站实验室以绕月球运行。 而美国计划将新实验室用作到太阳系其他部分旅行的停靠站。
Words in This Story：
rover – n.a vehicle for exploring the surface of the moon, a planet or other space object
orbiter – n.a space craft that is designed to orbit the moon or another planet, not land on it
on schedule –phraseon time; as expected or planned
hover – v.to float in the air without moving in any direction
obstacle – n.an object that you have to go around or over; something that blocks your path
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