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China Hopes to Launch Its First Mars Probe Around 2020

Jan 21, 2016     Email"> PrintText Size

China hopes to launch its first Mars probe around 2020 as the module technology for the exploration of the planet is maturing, some aerospace experts recently disclosed in Beijing.

The exploration, which consists of plans to orbit, land and probe, has been listed as one of China's aeronautic projects in the coming years, according to Yuan Minhui, director of Beijing Space Science and Technology Information Institute.

China attempted to send its first Mars probe on Nov. 9, 2011, however, the module failed to reach the correct orbit.

In September 2014, India became the first Asian country to successfully send a probe into orbit around Mars.

To keep up with the world's advanced technology, China was preparing a new exploration that would not only send a probe into orbit but also make it possible to land and explore on Mars, said Ye Peijian, the chief designer of "Chang'e 1," the first manmade satellite which was launched to orbit around the moon. Ye made such remarks in as early as May 2014.

The technology to send a module to Mars is available as the satellite "Chang'e 2" has already reached into space at a distance of 83 million kilometers from Earth. The closest distance between Mars and Earth is 55 million kilometers. However, the difficult part of the project is the fact that the two planets only approach each other once in 26 months.

Japan sent a Mars probe in 1998. However, the module failed to reach the designated orbit five years later.

China is hopeful that they will be able to successfully launch and land the probe on Mars as the technology concerning the rocket and detector is no longer an issue, said Long Lehao, a rocket expert. (China.org.cn)

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