Preparations for China’s ambitious mission to Mars in 2020 are “going smoothly”, a top space scientist said, as he told a forum of the potential for “robotic and human settlement” on the mysterious planet.
Zhang Rongqiao said China is seeking to become the first country to conduct joint orbital and surface exploration of Mars in a single mission.
The probe will provide invaluable data on temperature, atmospheric conditions and landscape, before Beijing dispatches further missions to retrieve soil and rock samples.
Mr Zhang, the chief architect the mission, said the probe will be made up of three parts; orbiter, lander and rover.
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