BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- China is aiming to launch its first mission to Mars around 2020, the director of the National Space Administration announced on Friday.
"The probe is expected to orbit the red planet, land and deploy a rover all in one mission, which is quite difficult to achieve," said Xu Dazhe at a press conference ahead of April 24 celebrations marking the launch of the country's first satellite 46 years ago.
Xu revealed that the mission was approved by central authorities in January.
Stressing the mission's importance and difficulty, he said that although China has sent spacecraft deep into space, "only by completing this Mars probe mission can China say it has embarked on the exploration of deep space in the true sense."
ZHUHAI, Guangdong, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- After successfully putting the "Jade Rabbit" lunar rover on the moon, Chinese space experts say the country's planned Mars vehicle will be larger, tougher and a better climber.
On Tuesday, a real-sized model of the Mars rover is on display at the Airshow China 2014 in south China's Zhuhai City, offering a rare glimpse of the spacecraft still being designed. Full story