Unmanned probes sent to Mars, Jupiter by 2030
China plans to send unmanned probes to explore Mars and Jupiter by 2030, said a senior space official.
Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday that the government has decided to send a robotic probe to Mars to orbit and land on the red planet around 2020. The probe will conduct scientific research on the Martian soil and atmosphere and search for signs of water.
"The project has proceeded well since it was approved in January. Now we have finalized the overall plan and begun to develop related equipment such as the Mars rover," he said.
A larger probe also will set off for Mars around 2030 to take samples and return to Earth, he said.
The probe is expected to take nearly seven months before reaching the red planet.
Jupiter as well as its moons will be visited by at least one unmanned probe from China before 2030, Wu said.