China to send probe to Mars

China to send probe to Mars

The China Academy of Space Technology put forward the Mars probe plan to the third China Space Technology Forum here Oct 21, China Daily reported Friday.

Huang Jiangchuan, chief designer of a lunar satellite, said the earliest that China will be able to launch a probe to Mars is November 2013. He said one to two years of preparation would be needed to carry out the project.

The project will make use of technologies developed for China's first lunar satellite launched in 2007, Xinhua quoted an expert as saying.

The technologies likely to be used -- including ones to boost the satellite's payload capability and exploration accuracy -- were already quite advanced, the expert added.

Huang said that China will pursue space explorations to Mars in order to close the gap of space technology between China and other countries.