Mars probe prepared for launch into orbit   2011-10-21 10:31:02 FeedbackPrintRSS

By Xin Dingding

BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- China's first Mars probe will be launched between Nov 8 and Nov 20, after being delayed for two years, a top scientist said.

Yinghuo-1, a micro-satellite weighing 110 kilograms, will be sent into space with Russia's Phobos-Grunt mission at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan.

The probe is expected to enter a preset orbit around Mars between August and September next year, said Wu Ji, director of the National Space Science Center under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

China News Service, citing the Russian Federal Space Agency, said the launch will be on Nov 9.

Experts said the project is expected to lead China further into deep space exploration, following two successful lunar probe projects since 2007.

Wu, who has designed scientific goals for the project with his colleagues, said Yinghuo-1 has been safely transported to the launch site, and a check showed everything is fine.

The mini-satellite's scientific goals include exploring Mar