The European space probe Mars Express will conduct five communications tests with China's Zhurong Mars rover next month, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Wednesday.

The Chinese Mars rover, which landed on the red planet in May, must transmit large amounts of information to Earth.

However, it is not possible to send this information directly from Mars to Earth.

The cart must first have contact with a space probe, which serves as a kind of intermediate station.

According to ESA, Zhurong cannot actually receive communications from the Mars Express spacecraft due to radio incompatibility.

That means the rover cannot hear the signal sent by the space probe.

To get around this problem, ESA plans to try a new method next month.

During five tests, Zhurong will blindly send a signal into space.

The Mars Express should then still receive this signal and then decipher whether it is scientific information.

Such a system has been tested on Earth before, but not yet in space.

If the tests work, the information will be sent to ESA's control center in Germany.

The space agency then wants to pass the data on to Chinese scientists.