China Mars lander
Credit: CCTV America

 

China is shaping a deep space exploration plan, including launch of two Mars missions, one in 2020 and a return sample mission in 2028.

According to the China News Service, the country will launch its first Mars probe in 2020. After ten months of flight, the probe will orbit, land and deposit a rover on the Red Planet in 2021.

NASA Mars 2020 rover is designed to collect samples, store the specimens in tubes, then deposit the tubes on the surface for later pick-up.
Credit: NASA/ESA

If successful, that mission will join NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, as well as the European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2020 rover.

China’s second Mars probe is scheduled for 2028 to bring samples back to Earth.

In addition, China’s deep space to do list includes asteroid exploration and undertaking a mission to the Jupiter system around 2030.

Chang’e-4 Moon lander and rover.
Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences

In December of this year, China’s Chang’e-4 lunar probe is to launch, headed for a landing in Aitken Basin of the lunar south pole region on the far side of the Moon.

One Response to “China’s Deep Space Thoughts”

  • Phil Clark says:

    I would have expected at least one other Mars mission from China between the 2020 orbiter/lander and the sample-return mission.

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