China is planning to conduct the first orbiting and roving exploration of Mars by 2020, the country’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) said Tuesday in a report.
“China intends to execute its first Mars exploration operation, and grasp key technologies for orbiting, landing and roving exploration. It plans to launch the first Mars probe by 2020 to carry out orbiting and roving exploration,” the report of said.
According to the document, China is also planning to “conduct research into major scientific questions such as the origin and evolution of the solar system, and search for extraterrestrial life.”
The report also said that China is expecting Beidou-2 satellite navigation system to begin providing basic services to Eurasian countries by 2018 and to have a global reach by 2020.
BeiDou currently provides navigation services within China and the neighboring regions. After completion, the project would become an equivalent of United States’ GPS, Russia’s Glonass and Europe’s Galileo.