Of the 45 previous missions to Mars, only 18 have succeeded.
Among the successful missions, some were designed to send orbiting satellites around the planet and some were merely flyby missions, according to records kept by NASA.
Transmissions from Earth take almost 10 minutes to reach the orbiter, so landing commands must be issued before the lander is released and many unpredictable situations can occur during the descent nicknamed "seven minutes of terror," Pang said.
Without real-time monitoring, the probe will need to "make its own decision," Pang noted.
A successful landing is only the beginning of the rover's mission in a hostile environment.
Another challenge comes from the devastating dust storms on Mars, the worst of which is comparable to a force 12 typhoon on Earth.
Such dust storms occur almost every year on the Red Planet and can last for up to three months, Pang said, noting that the Mars rover must have a strong storm-resistance system.
Because a dust storm could damage a rover's solar power system, a solution could be to use nuclear power, Pang said.
China's Mars orbiter will carry seven scientific devices, while the rover will have six.
"Although China's Mars mission has started late, we have a high starting point with the three-in-one design. And we are prepared to face the challenges," Pang noted.