The world’s first land rover to use solar panels on the surface of Mars will take a step toward its first test on the Red Planet in the coming months, the Chinese space agency said on Tuesday.
In the second half of 2018, the lander will begin a test of its first solar array on the Martian surface.
The lander is to perform a test on a crater rim at the end of 2019, which would be followed by the landers first landing on the planet in 2020.
The lander’s solar panels are to be mounted on a lunar module called the “Skeleton.”
The rover is designed to conduct experiments to investigate Mars’ geology and geological history.
The first test of the land rover’s solar arrays will take place on April 11, 2021.
The Land Rover EVO is the first vehicle to be built by Chinese firm XINHO, the government agency that manages space exploration.XINHO is part of China’s National Space Administration and has a $8.3 billion budget.
Its main goal is to develop and launch the next generation of Chinese rockets and satellites, known as the S-band.