China Blasts Off on Its Long March to Look for Life on Mars

SHANGHAI— China introduced its first mission to Mars on Thursday, aiming to be part of the quick record of nations that have landed a spacecraft on another planet.

The Tianwen-1 blasted off from the Wenchang Space Launch Middle on the island of Hainan at 12:40 p.m. local time aboard the recently formulated Very long March five rocket. It is anticipated to make the 34-million mile journey to Mars in 7 months, following which it will try to slip into orbit all over the planet and send a rover to the area.