China plans to land on Mars by 2020 and build a moon colony
"To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is a dream we pursue unremittingly," read a white paper setting out the country's space strategy for the next five years.
It says China aims to use space for peaceful purposes and to guarantee national security, and to carry out cutting edge scientific research - becoming the first country to soft land a probe on the far side of the moon, and red planet Mars.
The white paper released by the information office of China's Cabinet points to the growing ambitions of China's already rapidly advancing space program. Although the white paper doesn't mention it, China's eventual goal is the symbolic feat of landing an astronaut on the moon.
A fully functioning, permanently crewed space station is on course to begin operations six years from now and is slated to run for at least a decade.
The white paper reiterated China's plans to launch its first Mars probe by 2020, saying this would explore and bring back samples from the red planet, explore the Jupiter system and "conduct research into major scientific questions such as the origin and evolution of the solar system, and search for extraterrestrial life."
The paper says the Chang'e-4 lunar probe will help shed light on the formation and evolution of the moon.
Courtesy: Business Insider
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