China has successfully completed a lander test ahead of an unmanned exploration mission to Mars next year.
The test was carried out on Thursday in northern Hebei province of China.
China National Space Administration head Zhang Kejian said China is on track to launch its Mars mission in 2020.
The journey through space would take about seven months and landing would take seven minutes, said Zhang Rongqiao, chief architect of the Mars exploration programme.
The test was conducted at a sprawling landing test site in Huailai, northwest of Beijing.
China has developed the powerful Long March 5 rocket to transport the probe to Mars in 2020.
The same rocket is meant to deliver the Chang’e-5 probe to the moon by the end of 2019 or early next year to bring back samples of lunar rocks.
The Chang’e-4 probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon in January this year, a historic first and major achievement for China’s space programme.
China made its first lunar landing in 2013.
In 2003, China became the third nation to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States.
Since then, it has been racing to catch up with Russia and the United States and become a major space power by 2030.