China shares the name of its Mars mission

The unmanned mission is slated to launch this year.

Abrar Al-Heeti
Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET breaking down the latest trends on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, while also reporting on diversity and inclusion initiatives in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Credentials Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has twice been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

China is launching an unmanned exploration mission to Mars.

Getty Images

China's space agency shared the name of its first Mars mission on Friday: Tianwen-1, according to Reuters. The unmanned exploration mission is slated to launch this year. 

The name is reportedly inspired by a poem by Qu Yuan called "Tianwen," or "Questions to Heaven." The China National Space Administration said all of the country's future planetary exploration missions would carry the name Tianwen to symbolize China's space pursuits, according to Reuters.

China launched its first satellite in 1970, called the Dongfanghong-1. In 2003, it became the third nation to send a human into space with its own rocket (following the Soviet Union and the US). It's now pushing to become a major force in space by 2030.