WATCH: PAST EVENT
Tianwen-1 Mars rover mission
On Thursday afternoon, China launched a 187-foot (57-meter) Long March 5 rocket from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in eastern Hainan, a large island in the South China Sea, according to the Associated Press. The rocket lifted off at 12:40 p.m. local time (12:40 a.m. ET) carrying a 5.5-ton bundle of spacecraft designed to execute an ambitious mission called Tianwen-1, which translates to "questions to heaven."