Chinese and European Martian spacecraft complete in-orbit transmission communication test

Chinese and European Martian spacecraft complete in-orbit transmission communication test

China’s Mars Tianwen-1 probe and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft successfully conducted an in-orbit transmission communication test, the China National Space Administration (ANECh) announced on Wednesday, reported the Xinhua agency.

China’s Mars Zhurong rover sent test data to Mars Express at a distance of approximately 4,000 kilometers . The communication lasted 10 minutes. Mars Express received the data and forwarded it to ESA’s deep space tracking station. After receiving the data, the station sent it to the European Space Operations Center (COEE) and the latter forwarded the data to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

The results of the data analysis show that the interconnections of the Zhurong and Mars Express transmission communication equipment matched and conformed to international standards and the contents of the transmitted data were complete and correct.

The Tianwen-1 team and the Mars Express team will undertake more cooperation in science data transmission communication, ANECh said.

Bruce Dorminey
I'm a science journalist and host of Cosmic Controversy ( as well as author of "Distant Wanderers: the Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System."  I primarily cover aerospace and astronomy. I’m a former Hong Kong bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and former Paris-based technology correspondent for the Financial Times newspaper who has reported from six continents. A 1998 winner in the Royal Aeronautical Society's Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards (AJOYA), I’ve interviewed Nobel Prize winners and written about everything from potato blight to dark energy. Previously, I was a film and arts correspondent in New York and Europe, primarily for newspaper outlets like the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe and Canada's Globe & Mail. Recently, I've contributed to Scientific, Nature News, Physics World, and Yale Environment I'm a current contributor to Astronomy and Sky & Telescope and a correspondent for Renewable Energy World. Twitter @bdorminey