CHINA plans a series of missions as it flexes its muscles in space. A white paper setting out Beijing’s goals in the next five years was presented in late December by Wu Yanhua (吳艷華), deputy chief the China National Space Administration (國家航天局).
One project is to attempt a soft landing by a rover on the far side of the moon next year. Samples taken from the surface will give researchers a better understanding of the moon’s formation.
China’s first foray to Mars will take place in 2020. A probe will orbit the planet before landing. Samples collected will be sent back to Earth so that they can be analysed.
Other projects include investigating asteroids and sending probes to the planet Jupiter.
The white paper said space activities should benefit everyone on Earth and contribute to peace, security and the survival of humans. China added that all countries have equal rights in the peaceful exploration and development of space.
(This article is published on Goodies on 8 February 2017)