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China planning Mars mission after landing on Moon's far side
China recently reached the far side of the moon for the first time in history.
China recently landed its robotic mission on the far side of the Moon and it to the history books. But, it seems that China is planning another ambitious mission over the next 10 years.
At the end of this year, the China National Space Administration plans to launch another Chang'e 5 mission to bring first samples of the lunar soil and bring them to Earth. The nation plans to retrieve more samples from the moon or scout for water on the surface. The mission will also examine potential areas where it can set up a base for humans, according to Chinese state media.
China is also exploring opportunities beyond the moon and has plans to go to Mars. "China's first Mars exploration mission will be implemented around 2020," Wu Yanhua, the agency's deputy director, said during a briefing.
The mission will be called the Mars Global Remote Sensing Orbiter and Small Rover, or HX-1. NASA and other key members of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group have described the new mission as an "orbit, landing, and roving mission," that will study Mars' "topographical and geological features, physical fields and internal structure, atmosphere, ionosphere, climate, and environment."
The mission will include the launch of a lander and a satellite to the Red Planet. The lander and rover will be ferried to Mars through the orbiter. Once the satellite enters the orbit of the planet, it would detach itself from the orbiter. It will drop towards Mars' surface and a supersonic parachute will be deployed.
The rover will then roll down from the lander, a process previously seen on the Chang'e 4 and Chinese lunar-landing missions. The rover will be solar-powered and will have six wheels. it would feature a radar that would be able to penetrate through the ground to learn the internal structure of the planet. The rover will also search for water ice pockets, according to reports from the state media.