China is looking to join the space party.
Taking its cues from established “space countries” such as Russia and the United States, China has big ambitions on being the next space power.
In a recent report released by Beijing, the People’s Republic of China has outlined it’s aerospace goals over the next five years. The first step? Landing on the dark side of the moon around 2018. This will ultimately set the stage for a planned probe of Mars in 2020, Nikkei reports:
“As outlined in the white paper, China will launch a Mars probe in 2020 that will orbit the Red Planet and then land to explore the surface. The mission will test technologies that China can use in future ventures, including the collection and return of Mars samples and the exploration of a nearby asteroid… China will [also] launch the Chang'e-5 lunar probe by the end of 2017 to land on the moon and return with samples. And it will launch the Chang'e-4 lunar probe around 2018 to make the first soft landing on the far side of the moon.”
Time will tell whether or not this plan sticks to its schedule, but there’s a lot at stake for China. Not only are they investing in their exploration, there is a considerable effort here to launch its space station and navigation system. Read the full article here.