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China plans to launch first Mars probe by 2020

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-27 10:16
BEIJING - China plans to launch its first Mars probe by 2020 to carry out orbiting and roving exploration, said a white paper released by the State Council Information Office on Tuesday.

"China intends to execute its first Mars exploration operation, and grasp key technologies for orbiting, landing and roving exploration," said the document titled "China's Space Activities in 2016."

It will conduct further studies and key technological research on the bringing back of samples from Mars, asteroid exploration, exploration of the Jupiter system and planet fly-by exploration, according to the white paper.

"When conditions allow, related projects will be implemented to conduct research into major scientific questions such as the origin and evolution of the solar system, and search for extraterrestrial life," it said.
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