The National Space Administration on Friday announced that China was aiming to launch its first mission to Mars around 2020.
The Director, Xu Dazhe, disclosed this at a press conference ahead of April 24 celebrations marking the launch of the country’s first satellite 46 years ago.
“The probe is expected to orbit the red planet, land and deploy a rover all in one mission, which is quite difficult to achieve,’’ Xu said.
He revealed that the mission was approved by central authorities in January.
The director said that although China had sent spacecraft deep into space, he stressed the mission’s importance and difficulty.
“Only by completing this Mars probe mission can China say it has embarked on the exploration of deep space in the true sense,’’ he said. (Xinhua/NAN)