China plans to land a rover on Mars around the year 2020, the head of the country’s space program said on Friday.
Xu Dazhe, head of the China National Space Administration, said at a news conference in Beijing the project has the full support of the government.
China’s Mars mission will attempt to recreate the success of the U.S. Viking 1 mission, which landed a rover on the red planet four decades ago.
Xu said China will further explore civilian uses of space technology, such as for navigation, remote sensing, and communications.
China will also seek international collaborations.
China staged its first human mission in space in 2003 and also plans to launch a permanent space station.
China has been stepping up efforts in space exploration. Authorities have released a detailed blueprint for the next few years. CCTV’s Meng Qingsheng has more.
Story by the Associated Press
China will launch a core module belonging to its first space station around 2018, according to a senior engineer with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. on Thursday.